Czech car output falls 18% in first quarter: trade data

Production of cars in the Czech Republic, the EU's fifth-ranked car maker, fell by 18.14 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2012, trade data showed on Wednesday.

Czech auto plants produced 285,715 cars in January through March, said the Automotive Industry Association.

Vehicles made by the Volkswagen unit Skoda, South Korea's Hyundai, and TPCA, a Toyota joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroen of France, account for more than 20 percent of the country's total industrial output.

Last year, they turned out nearly 1.2 million passenger cars, down 1.7 percent from record-high output in 2011.

Heavily dependent on car production and exports to western Europe, namely EU powerhouse Germany, the Czech economy has been stuck in recession for a year and is not forecast to recover until next year.