Eastern and Central Europe show shy attempts to export recovery image

Across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) car and car parts factories, plants see rising sales to Western Europe as the eurozone’s still fragile revival pulls the region along in its wake.

For example, Poland’s Solaris Bus & Coach hires new workers and wants to double the size of one of its factories in order to meet rising demand for its buses and trolley cars, especially in Germany, its largest export market.

“It looks as though 2013 will be a record year for us, and that’s largely because of exports,” said Mateusz Figaszewski, a company spokesman who estimated that 60-80% of the group’s production is exported.

“There is no question that the region is dependent on the Eurozone and Germany,” said Daniel Hewitt, an economist with Barclays Research. “Exports are going to have to lead the countries into growth which could set off a virtual cycle with exports leading followed by a revival in consumption and then in investment.”

The Czech Republic showed a 0.7% increase in quarterly growth (after 18 month of recession), largely due to Skoda, which has been increasing its share in the Western European market. Skoda sold 26,500 cars in Western Europe in July, a 4.8% jump compared with the same month in 2012. In Germany alone, Skoda saw its sales jump more than 10%.

Recent investments by automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Audi helped Hungary post its second quarter of growth, as the companies take advantage of the country’s cheap but skilled labor, and close transport and industrial links with Western Europe.

Via Financial Times