ŠKODA has ramped up its commitment to fighting the spread of the corona pandemic. The car manufacturer, largest mobility partner of social services and institutions in the Czech health system, will be donating 100 ŠKODA OCTAVIAs worth around 85 million Czech korunas to various aid organisations in its homeland. Organisations helping particularly vulnerable or high-risk people, such as hospitals, social services, nursing homes and non-government organisations (NGOs), are eligible to apply for one of the vehicles. The donation of cars to chosen organisations will take place from half of May with the support of KOVO Union.
ŠKODA AUTO CEO, Bernhard Maier, explained, „During the corona pandemic, ŠKODA is focusing on providing fast, simple and effective aid. Therefore, we are supporting all those who are now particularly dependent on mobility, and are going to donate 100 OCTAVIAs worth around 85 million Czech korunas to organisations in the social or health sector. Our responsibility as a company extends far beyond the factory gates. In the current crisis, this holds true more than ever.”
The decision on who of the eligible applicants will be allocated one of the 100 ŠKODA OCTAVIAs Style 2.0 TDI will be made quickly and transparently. ŠKODA has coordinated the donation of the vehicles with the Czech Minister of Health, Adam Vojtěch, and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Jana Maláčová.
Apart from donating these vehicles, ŠKODA AUTO is also supporting the combat to prevent the virus from spreading any further with numerous other activities and measures, all of which are run under the slogan #SKODAAUTOhelps and #SKODAAUTOpomaha.
Protecting the health of the employees continues to be the top priority for ŠKODA and the KOVO union. In close collaboration with the KOVO union, ŠKODA AUTO has been encouraging its staff to raise money, and plans to support the Klaudiánova hospital in Mladá Boleslav and the hospital in Rychnov nad Kněžnou and Semily financially.
Examples of this include the HoppyGo car sharing service that has been providing more than 200 cars to aid organisations, local authorities and volunteers since the end of March, and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab making 150 BeRider e-scooters available free for doctors and other healthcare workers in Prague.
ŠKODA AUTO is collaborating with the Czech Technical University in Prague to produce reusable FFP3 respirators for hospital staff. Using its 3D printers, the Technical Development department has been manufacturing parts for protective equipment. More than 750 respirators have been manufactured since the university developed the prototype. ŠKODA and other companies are working together to increase production volume. The respirators are distributed by the Czech Ministry of Health.
The Production and Logistics departments have been working closely with the company Prusa Research, distributing protective visors to hospitals and general practitioners. By Easter, this collaboration had already led to the distribution of 14,600 units. 3D printing of protective visors was also launched at the end of March. In Mladá Boleslav, the Technical Development department, the pilot line and the ŠKODA Academy are all involved in the production of these visors that have already been delivered to the city’s Klaudiánova hospital. The ŠKODA visors which are manufactured in Kvasiny are for internal use and, in coordination with the Czech Ministry of Health, also for hospital staff in the regions around the plants.
Furthermore, ŠKODA has been supporting social services and facilities in the immediate surrounding area of its Czech sites with direct financial aid of almost ten million Czech korunas. In Kvasiny and Rychnov nad Kněžnou, ŠKODA catering partner Aramark has donated 250 kg of groceries to social agencies.
The ŠKODA AUTO trainees have also joined the effort: as part of a joint project with a children’s charity in the Central Bohemian town of Brandýs nad Labem, they have been sewing face masks. The volunteers have already sewn as many as 6,000 masks for doctors, nurses, fire fighters and staff from other services.
ŠKODA AUTO is financing all its activities itself, as do ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, the BeRider, HoppyGo and Uniqway platforms as well as several car dealerships for their respective activities. Partners such as the Czech Technical University in Prague, the company Prusa Research and many volunteers are also involved in the numerous measures.