Fleet News

Romanian car-buying boom in mixed market

SALES of new cars across central and Eastern Europe have fallen during the first half of the year. Independent data from business information company JATO shows sales were down by 4.03% compared to the same period last year.

Jato’s study said: ‘Wide variations in market performance continue to characterise the region’s new car market. While sales in Poland fell 33% in the first half of the year, sales in Romania boomed by 72% and the market overtook Hungary and the Czech Republic to become the second largest in the region.

‘In Romania, the revitalised domestic brand Dacia led the way, although all major brands in the market made strong gains, with 23 of the top 25 enjoying higher sales – mostly with increases of at least double-digit percentages.’

The study found that Poland’s consumers have taken advantage of their country’s EU membership by importing used cars from Western Europe.

This has resulted in a fall of new cars in the country of 63,000 units compared to the first half of 2004.

Registration in Hungary fell by 8% in the first half of the year, although the decline slowed during the second quarter of the year.

The Czech Republic recorded a significant growth with sales up by 5.7% in the first six months. Sales in neighbouring Slovakia were also up, by 1.6%.

In Slovenia, sales fell by 8% in the first half and although the markets of Lithuania and Estonia began to slip during the second quarter, a strong performance during the first quarter meant they ended the first half of 2005 up 1.2% and 3.7% respectively.

Country First half 05 First half 04 Variance
Czech Republic 76,031 71,919 +5.72%
Estonia 9,306 8,976 +3.68%
Hungary 94,272 102,544 -8.07%
Latvia 7,295 5,294 +37.80%
Lithuania 4,815 4,757 +1.22%
Poland 129,463 192,730 -32.83%
Romania 108,987 63,469 +71.72%
Slovakia 30,554 30,083 +1.57%
Slovenia 34,884 36,639 -4.79%

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