At the colloquium, ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier emphasised: “ŠKODA is shaping the future of mobility in close collaboration and in open dialogue with all stakeholders. One thing is for sure: to handle the profound changes in the automotive industry and to strengthen the Czech Republic as an automotive location in the long term, effective cooperation between companies and local authorities, the Czech government and the relevant councils is essential.”
Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources and President of the industry association AutoSAP adds: “The second colloquium on the Future Pact for the Czech Automotive Industry strengthens the positive and constructive communication among politics, the association and the automotive industry. The agreements reached today to implement the catalogue of measures, and the forthcoming appointment of a government representative for electromobility create planning security for the association and industry in the further implementation of our projects.”
The colloquium participants also agreed to collaborate closely in the field of smart mobility. ŠKODA relies on extensive cooperation in this area so that the company can effectively implement the government’s digitalisation programme, Digitální Česko (“Digital Czech Republic”).
For example, in partnership with the Czech Business Agency for Economic Development, a Mobility Innovation Hub will be set up to facilitate communication among experts from the automotive industry, politics and administration. Together, they will develop additional approaches and strategies to establish electromobility sustainably in the Czech Republic.
In addition to electromobility, progressive digitalisation will bring about changes to vehicles as well as the entire automotive industry in the long term. To create the necessary infrastructure, the industry association AutoSAP and the Czech government have agreed to develop the essential charging infrastructure for electric cars rapidly. The association and government representatives have also committed themselves to comprehensively improving Internet and data connections to be able to take full advantage of the multitude of possibilities and services that result from the increasing digitalisation of the automotive sector.
ŠKODA is actively pursuing the implementation of specific measures in the areas of electromobility and digitalisation as part of its Strategy 2025. The electrification of the model range will start this year, making 2019 an extraordinary milestone in the company’s 124-year history. The ŠKODA SUPERB with plug-in hybrid drive will roll off the production line in Kvasiny. The car manufacturer is also presenting the all-electric version of the ŠKODA CITIGO. Next year, the Mladá Boleslav plant will produce battery-electric vehicles based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electric-drive Matrix (MEB).
At the DigiLab in Prague and the spin-off of the innovation workshop in the start-up hotspot of Tel Aviv, ŠKODA is also working intensively on new mobility services that the company is gradually bringing onto the road and to their customers’ devices. With HoppyGo, ŠKODA has become one of the largest providers of peer-to-peer car sharing in the Czech Republic. With Care Driver, the manufacturer is testing a driving service for children, senior citizens and people with disabilities. And Uniqway is a new car-sharing offer for students.
In total, ŠKODA will have invested around two billion euros in alternative drive technologies and new mobility services by 2022, making it the most comprehensive investment programme in the company’s history.