Car prices in CR up to 10 percent higher than at start of year

Car prices in the Czech Republic have been shooting up this year, with some models now going for 10 percent more than they did in January, Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. Prices are likely to grow further in 2022, the business daily said.

Rising costs of metals, plastics and energy are hitting the Czech Republic’s auto market hard – and car buyers’ wallets are feeling the pinch, HN wrote.

Pavel Louda, chairman of the Association of Volkswagen and Audi Dealers in Czechia, said that the prices of cars would definitely increase next year.

Customers are already waiting unusually long times for delivery of cars they have ordered and this situation may well get worse in 2022, Mr. Louda told the newspaper.

Experts on auto prices say that on the domestic market Škoda Auto has since the start of the year increased the price of its Octavia Ambition by CZK 38,000, the Superb by CZK 79,000 and the Kodiaq Ambition by CZK 95,000. Add-ons have also shot up in price, says HN.

A Prague car dealer, Pavel Šlechta of Auto Jarov, told the daily that prices were constantly on the increase. Things will be the same in 2022 and price hikes are very hard to predict, he said. Supplies are not improving and the wait for the most in-demand models, such as the Octavia, is over a year, he told the newspaper.

Octavia’s are among the hardest hit models by Škoda Auto’s current problems, which stem from a lack of computer chips on the world market.

Škoda Auto CEO Thomas Schäfer told HN that further price increases were possible, pointing to current high inflation and growing prices of metals and other things such as energy.

Mr. Schäfer said the company was making savings wherever possible but this could not compensate for the fact so many things were more expensive.

The Škoda Auto chief said his firm had been forced to make price adjustments in 2021 and further rises could not be ruled out next year.

Petra Knapa, an analyst with EY, told HN that price increases will be in the high single figures and said he hoped double-digit growth was avoidable.

Mr. Knapa said the strengthening of the Czech crown could go some way toward absorbing the shock of higher prices for essential materials such as steel, with imported cars making up a major part of domestic sales.

The EY man told HN that rising prices of scarce semi-conductors would also make personal vehicles more costly. He said smart elements were becoming ever more important in cars, with most makers no long producing “retro” vehicles without them.