PRAGUE, March 5 (Reuters) - Czech car sales fell 22 percent year-on-year in February, showing more signs of weak consumer demand in the recession-choked economy, the country’s Car Importers’ Association said on Tuesday.
In the first two months of 2013, new car registrations dropped 14.5 percent year-on-year to 22,633 vehicles.
The central European economy is struggling to return to growth after contracting since the middle of 2011 on government tax hikes and spending cuts and a slowdown in demand for its exports due to the euro zone crisis.
Central bank Governor Miroslav Singer said last month the economy was probably going through the bottom of its drop.
Volkswagen’s Skoda brand remained the market leader with a 30 percent share in January and February, followed by VW cars and Hyundai.
Industry executives at the Geneva auto show said car sales in Europe were at the low end of expectations and the market was likely to remain shaky for at least five years. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)