REFILE-Boosted by Skoda, soaring Czech car output points to firmer recovery
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PRAGUE, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Czech car output soared by 50 percent year-on-year in August, helping to narrow a decline that has been hurting the country's key business sector since last year, industry association data showed.
The SAP auto producers group on Tuesday said passenger car output at Skoda Auto, Hyundai and Toyota-Peugeot-Citroen , jumped to 96,184 units for the month alone, from 64,081 a year ago, following a drop in July.
Skoda, the biggest Czech maker, said it had reached full production of the new version of its flagship Octavia in August and was also boosting production of other new models.
"We have had a major change in the past month," head of communications at Skoda Peik von Bestenbostel said.
The company does not reveal monthly production figures.
A spokesman for Hyundai said its August production was lower by several thousand cars from a year ago because one week of the company's two-week vacation fell into August this year. Hyundai makes 1,300 cars per working day at its Czech plant.
Monthly numbers are volatile as plants close down for holidays or technical reasons, but the strong August result could add to a recovery in the industrial sector and help cement a turnaround following nearly two years of recession.
Data for August factory output in the heavily industrialised and country is due on Oct. 7. In July, output rose 2.1 percent year-on-year.
For the first eight months, the number of cars made dropped by 8.6 percent to 734,873, extending a trend of narrowing year-on-year declines.
Skoda said earlier this month that it was optimistic for full-year sales despite a 5.5 percent drop in global shipments in the first eight months. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka)
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