So glory! The worst seems to be behind us – after a series of crises, car companies finally have something to sell and now they are competing to see who can sell more (which is supported by the backlog of orders from the crisis period). This confirms the year-on-year increase in sales of new passenger cars in the Czech Republic by 15.3 percent to a total of 221,422 cars. But who made the most of it and who, on the other hand, lost?

Unexpected arrival of premiums

There was no doubt that the domestic car manufacturer Škoda, whose models make up a third of all cars sold, will remain the ruler of the Czech market. The quartet of importers behind it maintained their ranking from last year (they only slightly increased absolute sales figures), but the big surprise is the decline of Dacia (the Lodgy and Logan models have ended, the bestsellers Sandero and Duster, which is already waiting for its successor), have instead of the premium Mercedes (it scored with the new C-class and the derivative GLC SUV, the GLE, GLS and G SUVs and also the EQE and EQS electric cars did well). BMW also improved (thanks to the introduction of the new X1, but also the improvement of the X3, X5 and X7 SUVs), which jumped up two places at the expense of Ford and Peugeot. We would not be surprised if the miraculous improvement of premium brands (Audi, Volvo, Lexus, Porsche or Land Rover also improved) was not affected by the restriction on the purchase of luxury cars for businessmen…

Mark Sales 2023 Year-on-year change Rank 2022
1. Škoda 77 490 ks +23,2 % 1.
2. Hyundai 20 068 ks +7,9 % 2.
3. Volkswagen 18 938 ks +18,2 % 3.
4. Toyota 17 435 ks +42,1 % 4.
5. Come on 11 424 ks +10,1 % 5.
6. Mercedes-Benz 8 642 ks +17,9 % 8.
7. Dacia 7 830 ks -15,1 % 6.
8. BMW 6 037 ks +30,6 % 10.
9. Ford 5 655 ks -23,6 % 7.
10. Peugeot 4 360 ks -10,9 % 9.

Outside the top ten, it is worth mentioning the brands SsangYong (an improvement of almost a third to 3,170 cars), Suzuki (2,960 cars sold is an improvement of half) and MG (a jump from last year’s 410 cars sold to this year’s 2,609 units), which have improved a lot ( perhaps at the expense of Dacia), Tesla in the Czech Republic also follows the global trend of a fast-growing brand thanks to an aggressive sales policy (its 1,618 cars sold represent a year-on-year improvement of more than fivefold). On the other hand, large declines were experienced at Opel (by a third), Citroën (by almost a quarter) or Seat (by a quarter).

Octavia rules all

Škoda’s dominance is also clearly visible in the sales of individual models – those from Mladá Boleslav neatly lined up at the top of the top ten best-selling cars. Only the outgoing Superb, whose weaknesses were exploited by two Hyundais, the popular i30 model (which was the third best-selling car last year) and the SUV Tucson (which improved slightly in sales and in its position by one rung) fell. The top ten is rounded off by the VW Golf.

Mark Sales 2023 Year-on-year change Rank 2022
1. Skoda Octavia 21 815 ks +56,9 % 1.
2. Shame Fabio 10 775 ks -18,0 % 2.
3. Shame Scala 9 784 ks +50,6 % 6.
4. Too bad Kamiq 9 447 ks +38,3 % 5.
5. Shame on the Karoq 9 032 ks +13,5 % 4.
6. Shame on the Kodiaq 8 659 ks +36,9 % 8.
7. Hyundai i30 7 728 ks -6,2 % 3.
8. Hyundai Tucson 6 495 ks +11,7 % 9.
9. Skoda Superb 6 309 ks -2,2 % 7.
10. Volkswagen Golf 5 461 ks +74,9 %

They are certainly happy at BMW with the new X1 (improved by more than two times) and at Lexus with the new NX (improved by almost three times), MG’s results were driven by ZS (improved by five times) and HS (newly launched model), SsangYong Korando cars also sold almost double, the Toyota Corolla improved by 80% and the VW Golf by 75%. On the contrary, Citroën, which buried its Berlingo (and it will be difficult to revive it), is very sorry, at Opel they are lamenting the deterioration of the Crossland despite its modernization (which, however, also made it more expensive) and at Seat the neglected Arona, Dacia is already trembling for a new generation with the Duster or Peugeot with 3008.

Electric cars boost only very slowly

The vast majority of newly sold cars are powered by gasoline (66%) and a quarter run on diesel, but the number of electrified cars is growing – a total of 40,000 were sold last year (including 6,640 electric cars and 5,653 plug-in hybrids), which is almost a fifth of all cars sold. Pure electric cars have improved by 50% year-on-year, but still make up a paltry three percent of total sales. However, this number should increase this year, also thanks to the introduction of a subsidy for electric cars.

Photo: Association of Automobile Importers

Six and a half thousand sold electric cars is still very few.

The leapfrog of the year in the field of electromobility is of course Tesla, but its sales of a total of 1,618 cars are made up of four models (and almost half of them are Model Y). The best-selling model is the Škoda Enyaq iV (1,442 units sold, representing a year-on-year improvement of 11%), followed by Tesla Model Y and Model 3, sales of other competitors are in the low hundreds or high tens of units.

Model Sales 2022
1. Skoda Enyaq iV 1 442 ks
2. Tesla Model Y 1 075 ks
3. Tesla Model 3 408 ks
4. Hyundai Kona 331 ks
5. Volkswagen ID.3 254 ks
6. Volkswagen ID.4 176 ks
7. Let’s EV6 139 ks
8. BMW i4 135 ks
9. Mercedes-Benz EQS 131 ks
10. Hyundai Ioniq 5 130 ks

Lagers and rarities

There are also a number of cars on the Czech market that are not sold by the hundreds or thousands, but rather by tens or even units. If we leave aside the real exclusives from Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or Maserati, a few unexpected surprises peek out from them. For example, Škoda scraped out the last piece of Yeti and Rapid, at Fiat they found a dusty Freemont in the corner of the warehouse, at Toyota a similarly overlooked Avensis and at Mitsubishi an abandoned Lancer, at Smart they discovered a sunken ForTwo in a drawer.

In addition to lucky finds, the statistics also show completely neglected models such as the Audi A5 convertible (seven cars sold), the large sedan DS 9 (three units sold), the Honda e electric cars (one unit) or the Jaguar I-Pace (two units). The only Talisman sold also clearly shows why Renault decided to bury it (the previous year’s 28 units are not much better).

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The DS 9 is a very beautiful car… but nobody wants it.

As you can see, last year’s development of the Czech car market brought a number of surprises – many premium brands jumped up, while many traditional brands weakened. This is often due to the success or failure of one of two key models.

And what awaits us this year? In today’s political and economic situation, it is very difficult to make any long-term forecasts, so let’s just look forward to the next influx of attractive four-wheeled novelties and wish the automakers strong nerves (and a well-polished crystal ball).