Car and truck production in Poland

Poland’s auto factories produced more than 50,000 cars and almost 10,000 trucks in July of this year, a 4.2 percent increase in cars but a 1.2 percent drop in trucks, according to the Warsaw-based Automotive Market Research Institute SAMAR.

Poland’s top car producer is Tychy-based Fiat. It built more than 195,000 cars from January to July of this year, 16 percent more than in the same period last year. Fiat has 52 percent of Poland’s car market.

Gliwice-based Opel produced 100,000 cars between January and July. Although it is Poland’s second-biggest car manufacturer, its production is down 13 percent from last year.

In third place is Poznan-based Volkswagen, whose production numbers also plunged from July to January. It made 43,000 cars, 22 percent fewer than in 2006.

FSO produced 38,000 of its Matiz and Lanos car models between January and July, giving it the industry’s highest growth rate – 68 percent.

The revamped Intrall Polska made 35 cars in the January to July period, a 65 percent decrease. Intrall Polska was established in December 2003 when British investors took over the bankrupt Daewoo Motor facility in Lublin. Intrall Polska has just begun to rebuild the Lublin 3 light commercial vehicle brand.

Volkswagen increased its dominance of Poland’s truck market in the January to July period. In fact, it was the only truck maker in Poland to boost production, manufacturing 54,000 trucks in the January to July period. That is a 24 percent jump over last year, giving it a whopping 85 percent share of the truck market. Last year it had 68 percent. Fiat produced 9,700 trucks, a 51 percent decrease, and Intrall 73, a 92 percent drop.

As for the new-car and -truck market in Europe as a whole, the London-based industry-tracking company JATO Dynamics said dealers sold 1,311,084 vehicles in July, 5.6 percent more than in July of last year. Volkswagen was the leader in car sales, although they fell 1.5 percent to 141,000 cars from July 2006 Opel/Vauxhall sold 109,000 cars, up 7 percent; Ford, 105,000, up 11 percent; Renault, 96,000, down 0.8 percent; and Peugeot, 92,000, up 5 percent.

“New models tend to be the catalysts for brand growth,” said Nasir Shah, JATO’s business development director. “The new Corsa has spearheaded Opel/Vauxhall’s sales increase this year and the 207 has been fundamental to Peugeot’s growth.”

However, Ford has demonstrated that “there is still life in existing models,” Shah said. Although such new models as the Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy and recently revised C-Max are boosting Ford sales, the model that is experiencing the greatest growth is Fiesta, which has been around for some time.

Citroen had a good July, with sales jumping 11 percent to 83,456 cars, largely on demand for its C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso models. Fiat sales rose 7 percent in July to 79,666 cars with the help of the new Bravo, 500 and Sedici models. Toyota sales rose 5 percent in July to 75,868 cars. BMW sales increased by 17 percent to 57,703 cars and Audi sales rose 8 percent. The Peugeot 207 was Europe’s most popular individual car model in July, with 37,000 sold.

Other leaders were the Volkswagen Golf, 36,000; Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, both at 33,000; and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Fiat Punto, Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Passat, all at 26,000 each.

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