Skoda to sell more than 940,000 cars this year image

Skoda Auto, a unit of Volkswagen Group reiterated its outlook for full-year deliveries to be above 2012 when the company sold 939,200 vehicles. Skoda sold 464,600 vehicles in the first half – down 6 percent compared to 2012.

The biggest Czech exporter said he first half had been affected by a switch to new models as well as weak overall demand for new cars in Europe.

On the same time, Skoda said revenue dropped 13% to 4.97 billion euros ($6.59 billion) from EUR5.72 billion. By the end of this year Skoda Auto will have brought eight new or updated models to the market, and will have taken strict cost control measures, it said.

New car sales in the old continent for the first half of 2013 plunged to a 20-year low, with a 6.3 percent drop in June suggesting no let up for an industry battered by overcapacity and weak demand.
Squeezed household budgets and rising unemployment have discouraged consumers in most parts of the 28-nation European Union from purchases of big ticket items, and the car market is nearing a two-decade low after five years of contraction.

The crisis in the auto industry is a direct product of the austerity policies of the EU. Since the onset of the spending cuts, unemployment in southern Europe has risen rapidly. In countries like Spain and Greece, 60 percent of young people are out of work.