Czech automotive output, exports rebound in July

Czech automotive output increased 1.48% on-year in January-July to 838,142 units, reversing from the -1.47% decline seen after six months, according to the latest Czech Automotive Industry Association (AIA) data seen by Kallanish.

The Czech Republic is Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)’s largest car manufacturer, sourcing automotive steel from US Steel Kosice (USSK) and ArcelorMittal among other suppliers, and producing most cars for export.

Production mainly consists of passenger and light commercial vehicles (M1+N1), whose output rose 1.44% in January-July to 834,247 vehicles. Skoda comprised 61.38% of output, Hyundai 22.51% and Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen (TPCA) 16.12%.

Passenger car exports returned to growth after slipping into negative territory after six months, rising 2% in January-July to 771,519 units, while local sales slumped -4.8% to 65,251 units.

Czech production of buses rose 7.6% in January-July to 2,971 units.

Eurofer said in July EU automotive production is forecast to fall by -1.4% on-year in 2019 and to rise by 2.2% in 2020 (see Kallanish passim).

USSK plans to idle one of its blast furnaces this year and lay off 2,500 workers by end-2021 due to increasing raw material costs and declining demand, coupled with elevated imports. ArcelorMittal said in May it was idling its Krakow steelworks’ hot-end from September due in part to reduced European automotive demand, but reversed this decision in July.