In August, Czech car maker Škoda recorded a 55% share of the Slovak car market, a figure that for the first time was higher than the company's market share in the Czech Republic. In 1996, Škoda models accounted for only 29% of all new cars sold in Slovakia.
Škoda's positive results came despite a crisis in the automotive industry triggered by the re-introduction of a 7% import surcharge as of June 1. Analysts estimate that the surcharge will push 1999 car sales down to 64,500 units, of which 30,300 will be Škoda products. The potential introduction of a car tax, however, could trim total sales to 50,000.