William Malcolm

Skoda Kodiaq Production To Remain In Czech Republic

Production of SUV Škoda Kodiaq will remain in the Czech Republic. Earlier, there was speculation about a possible relocation of its production to Germany. The Fabia in the combi version will also continue to be produced. Production of the Superb model will move to Bratislava, where it will be manufactured alongside the Volkswagen Passat. The research and development of both vehicles will be in Mladá Boleslav.

However, according to a source in the Czech News Agency, the carmaker in the Czech Republic will free up capacity by moving Superb production, so it will be possible to produce more other models. The company can use this, for example, to expand the production capacity of SUV models Kodiaq and Karoq, thus reducing waiting time for customers. The relocation of the Superb also saved the production of the Fabia model in the combi version. It was speculated that only the hatchback would continue to be produced, as pointed out, for example, by the Škoda unions.

The development of both cars (Superb and Passat) will be in Boleslav, so value-added work remains in the Czech Republic. The company has long struggled with demand exceeding the possibility of production in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the relocation of the Superb, this will free up capacity for the production of Kodiaq SUVs, which are highly profitable for the company.

According to an earlier decision of the Volkswagen Group, the Passat family’s models, including the Superb, were to be produced in Kvasiny. However, according to the source, it is more advantageous for the carmaker to build only its models. Thanks to the move, Škoda will not have to produce Passats sold by Volkswagen, but the Kodiaq SUV production will be more profitable. “I confirm that Kodiaq will remain in the Czech Republic. And at the same time, there will be a Fabia combi, we will get a model that should no longer be,” said a credible source.

The new Superb should start production in 2022. The unions criticize the relocation of its production to Bratislava. “The Volkswagen Group stole the most profitable flagship from the Czech Republic,” union leader Jaroslav Povšík said. According to him, the board of directors of Škoda Auto fought little to maintain the production of the Superb, and in his opinion, also fears about the function. The company was not supported by the government either, said Povšík.

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. It is active in more than 100 markets. It employs almost 39,000 people, of which nearly 34,000 in the Czech Republic.

Škoda Auto’s operating profit fell by 60 percent to 469 million euros in the first nine months of this year. The negative impact on the economy was mainly due to lower sales volumes caused by the covid-19 epidemic, the development of exchange rates, and extraordinary expenses related to emissions.