Global deliveries by Volkswagen’s Škoda Auto fell 19.1% to 1.005 million vehicles in 2020, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which caused production outages and closures of dealerships, the Czech carmaker said on Tuesday.
The carmaker delivered more than 1 million vehicles for the seventh year running but suffered like many peers as the pandemic hit output and sales, largely in the second quarter.
The company saw its biggest drop in China, its largest single market, where deliveries fell 38.7% in 2020, shrinking for a second straight year.
Škoda said the second half of the year saw improvement and its board member responsible for sales, Alain Favey, said he viewed the coming months with moderate optimism, despite a surge in COVID-19 infections.
While the Czech Republic and other countries in Europe have been hit harder by a growing number of infections, factories have kept their gates open, unlike near the outset of the pandemic.
Czech industrial output grew on a year-on-year basis in October and November, according to the latest data available, after crashing in April and May.
Škoda is the country’s biggest exporter, shipping the vast majority of its cars abroad. In Europe, Škoda said its market share increased to 5.4%.
Škoda support in fighting COVID-19
Škoda donated 100 Octavias worth a total of 85 million CZK to aid agencies in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the brand has been keeping more than 200 HoppyGo vehicles as well as 150 BeRider electric scooters available for charities, municipalities, and volunteers.
In addition to providing vehicles, ŠKODA has also been supporting the development and production of respirators and has been helping to distribute them to medical staff once produced.
The Prototype and Model Construction department, part of ŠKODA’s Technical Development division, is using its 3D printers to make components that were jointly developed by the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics (CIIRC) and the Czech Technical University (CTU).