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CEAR™ Auto News Briefs

Auto News Briefs are a sampling of those news items included in our weekly email report AutoNewsFast™. If you would like to receive our most current information and all the items included in our information packed report, subscribe today.


On June 18, 1998, UT Automotive opened its new wire harness plant in Mielec, Poland. The 12,000 square meter facility, located in Mielec's Special Economic Zone, will employ 500 workers.

UT Automotive has been making wire harnesses in Poland since 1995, operating out of temporary facilities in Mielec. In 1997, the company's exports from Poland totaled $20 million. By the year 2000, UT Automotive plans to expand capacity in Poland and achieve exports of $100 million.


Hayes Lemmerz is pouring $26 million into a new wheel plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The company has operated a wheel manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic since 1993. Hayes's main customer is Skoda Auto, and later in 1998 the company will start supplying Ford. Hayes also plans to supply Opel's new Polish car assembly plant.


During the first five months of 1998, new car sales in Poland totaled 234,000 units, up 10% compared to sales during the same period in 1997, according to figures released by SAMAR.

Fiat sold 71,886 cars, capturing a 30.62% market share. Close behind is Daewoo with sales of 64,512 units and a market share of 27.48%. GM/Opel sold 19,103 cars for a market share of 8.14%.

Daewoo's Tico model was the most popular make with sales of 20,437 units, closely followed by Fiat's Palio/Siena with sales of 19,633 units. Sales of Daewoo's Lanos model total 18,566 units, and Fiat's 126 model saw sales hit 18,451 units.


Best Selling Brands in Poland (YTD April 1998)
Exhibitions, Conferences, and Shows in 1998 & 1999
Fastest Sales Climbers in Poland (YTD April 1998)
Poland Plans Excise Tax on Import & Sale of Cars
Sales Loss Leaders in Poland (YTD April 1998)
Facing the Intellectual Capital Challenge -- Part II
Regional Market Highlights
Investment Opportunities
Regional Distribution of Cars in Slovakia
Slovakia's Car Park: Big Variances; Western Region Owns Half of Cars
Comparative World Car Density Figures (1998)
Car Density by District in Slovakia
Slovakia's Car Density (1997)
Polish Fund Reorganizes Auto Holdings to Take on Aftermarket
Plenty of Power in Central Europe: Auto Powertrain Review
Magyar Suzuki's Key Figures
Suzuki Opens Throttle in Hungary; Co-op With GM
Chrysler Saves $20 Million Per Assembly Plant With Virtual Manuf. System
Quality in Action
Quality Expectations of the Global Automotive Industry Part II
New Car Registrations Growth in Europe (YTD April)
Top Selling Passenger Car Brands in Romania (1st Q)
Romanian Car Exports (1st Q)
Romanian Car Production & Assembly (1st Q0
Romanian New Vehicle Sales (in units)
Russia's Auto Sector Investment Incentive Decree Explained
Sales of New Cars and Commercial Vehicles in Poland
Polish Vehicle Market Segmentation
Audi Assembling Engines & Autos in Hungary
Tax, Customs, & Finance Review
Overheard in Poznan
Best Selling Models in Poland (YTD April 1998)
5 Questions With Detlef Wittig, Vice Chairman & CFO of Skoda Auto


In 1997, Skoda Auto a.s. purchased parts and components from 260 Czech suppliers valued at CZK 37.5 billion ($1.1 billion). The remaining supplies were obtained from 488 foreign suppliers who racked up sales to Skoda of CZK 14 billion ($411 million), and 19 Slovak suppliers provided Skoda with supplies valued at CZK 3.3 billion ($97 million). "Our intention is to maintain this favorable ratio," said Skoda board chairman Vratislav Kulhanek at the company's annual press conference on March 19, 1998.


Volkswagen Bratislava will start production of the new generation Volkswagen Vento, a four-door modification of the VW Golf A4. The Ventos produced in Slovakia will be custom-made, all wheel drive Syncro models, a specialty of the Bratislava plant.

A new assembly line -- ML 2 -- is currently being prepared for the production launch. This will be the second assembly line at the VW Bratislava plant, and estimated daily production will reach 200 units. The VW Golfs produced on the line will have their bodies varnished in Germany.

This past February, Volkswagen Bratislava produced 5,849 cars, a 54% increase compared to January when 2,053 units were made. Since the beginning of 1998, the company has produced 9,645 cars, including 8,289 VW Golf A4s and 1,356 Golf A3 Syncro Variants.

In 1998, VW Bratislava plans to produce 120,000 cars, three times more than production last year, and expects its employee ranks to swell to 4,500 people.


New car sales in Poland dropped almost a percentage point during the first two months of 1998. Sales totaled 84,447 units at the end of February. Although local production was up 26% to 62,258 units, imports were off over 38%. Sales of new commercial vehicles also dropped, slipping over 8%. CV sales were hurt by an almost 13% drop in domestic production.

Fiat is the best selling brand in Poland with a market share of 34.39%. Daewoo continues to strengthen its position in Poland, inching its market share up to 27.98%. GM, who's market share in Poland stood at 9.21% in 1997, has watched it share drop to 7.54%.

At the end of February, strong sales performances were turned in by the Daewoo Tico whose sales were up 44.80% and the Opel Astra with sales jumping 43.43%.

For more on these and other stories, see the next issue of the CENTRAL EUROPE AUTOMOTIVE REPORT-CEAR.COM(TM), or if you want the most current automotive news on the region, subscribe to AutoNewsFast™, the weekly email news service of the CEAR™.


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