Included in this report: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine
Sales of used car in 2005 made up 52.81% of total car sales what well represents the importance of used car market in the Czech Republic. In 2005, there were 106,688 new personal cars and 119,411 imported used personal cars registered. Sales of new cars declined for 2.43% in 2005 comparing to 2004 while sales of used cars jumped for 20.03% in the same period of time. Vast majority of used cars is imported from EU countries. Import of American cars has been a niche market due to differences in European and American technical requirements and related expanses to comply with European standards. This makes American cars less competitive, however, there is still healthy demand for classic American cars.
Total exports and imports of the category “Other parts and accessories for motor vehicles” in 2005 were $2,175 billion and $1,307 billion respectively. Total exports overcame imports for 66% that means that a very significant part of imported auto parts / specialty equipment are re-exported. While import from the States to the Czech Republic in this category represented $17.4 million, export reached $12.4 million. The balance is positive for $5 million. We conservatively estimate the size of automotive accessories & specialty equipment market in the Czech Republic at CZK 230 million ($10 million).
There are about 3.7 million registered cars in the Czech Republic from which only about 12,000 cars have been imported from the States. Most successful U.S. car makes were Chrysler (5,270), Jeep (2,944) Dodge (1,271) and Chevrolet (1,161). The numbers of some U.S. car makes registered in the Czech Republic can be found in the table below. All presented numbers are official data of the Car Importers Association (CAI - http://www.sda-cia.cz).
A region known for Skoda cars, Zetor tractors, and Tatra trucks, The Czech Republic has become the major car manufacturer in the Central/Eastern European region. With new auto investments in neighboring Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, this region is fast becoming the Detroit of Europe. U.S. businesses are already capitalizing on this progress - a significant number of U.S. companies have established branches here to supply the region and even the rest of Europe. Although EU accession gives European competitors a slight tariff advantage, the decline in the U.S. dollar makes U.S. supplies very price competitive today. U.S. companies that might not have been price competitive two years ago should take another look at this market sector, which Commercial Service Prague has made one of its top priorities this year.