Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says Škoda cars are the best product of the Volkswagen Group. But Babis believes that this fact bothers some within parent company VW Group’s top management. Babiš says he will discuss the matter on Friday with the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Škoda Auto, Thomas Schäfer.
“I promote Škoda all over the world; their cars are great. It bothers me that Škoda cannot be sold everywhere, because there is controlled non-competition within the group (Volkswagen),” said Babiš.
He added that the government has strongly supported Škoda Auto through the Antivirus program, thanks to which companies can draw money to rehabilitate losses due to the COVID-19.
“The automotive industry is vital to us, accounting for 11 percent of GDP and 24 percent of exports. Let’s hope that Volkswagen will not limit the Škoda in any development,” Andrej Babis said.
Last year, Škoda Auto delivered 1.24 million cars worldwide. It operates three production plants in the Czech Republic, produces in China, Russia, Slovakia, and India, mostly through group partnerships and Ukraine and Kazakhstan in cooperation with local partners. Skoda is active in over 100 markets and employs 39,000 people, 34,000 of which are in the Czech Republic.
Schäfer became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Škoda Auto on August 3. He served as CEO of the Volkswagen Group’s South African office, which also covers the entire sub-Saharan African region. He replaced Bernhard Maier, who resigned after leading the company for less than five years.