The modern DQ 200 direct-shift gearbox has been running off the Vrchlabí production lines since October 2012, and is installed in ŠKODA vehicles as well as models from other manufacturers within the Volkswagen Group. In partnership with the Group, ŠKODA has invested around 210 million euros to date into the DSG production at the foot of the Giant Mountains. Since 2012, around 640,000 DQ 200 transmissions have been produced at the site, which currently employs around 1000 people.
Just last year, daily production capacities at the Vrchlabí site were increased from 1000 to 1500 DSG gearboxes per day. “Once again increasing the capacity to 2000 gearboxes marks a significant milestone for the plant,” says ŠKODA Production Director Michael Oeljeklaus. “Over recent years, we have transformed the site into a state-of-the-art facility, which has become an important pillar of ŠKODA’s global production. Manufacturing an additional 500 gearboxes per day emphasises the productivity and efficiency of the site.”
ŠKODA HR Director adds: “Vrchlabí is a cornerstone in ŠKODA’s growth strategy. In close dialogue with our social partners, the KOVO VR trade union, we have effectively established the site with the production of the DSG gearbox, and given the plant excellent prospects for the future. Through their hard work, the local production team strengthens ŠKODA’s excellent reputation in powertrain manufacture. We are sending out a strong signal for growth and job security in the region once again. These planned measures show that it was right to return the DSG production to Vrchlabí,” Wojnar concludes.
ŠKODA is one of the largest and most important employers in the Vrchlabí region. This year the company was awarded ‘Česká inovace’ for complexity of change from car assembly to gearbox production and their social contribution to the development of the region. The planned capacity expansion at Vrchlabí underlines the carmaker’s great importance in the industry and the associated contribution to employment in the Czech home market. Around 25,000 people are employed at ŠKODA in the Czech Republic, the majority of whom work in production. An additional 150,000 people work at ŠKODA suppliers. The manufacturer operates three locations in the Czech Republic: the main plant in Mladá Boleslav, and the plants in Kvasiny and Vrchlabí.
ŠKODA’s Vrchlabí plant was awarded the contract for DQ 200 production in 2011, commencing in second half of 2012. In association with the Volkswagen Group, ŠKODA has invested around 27 million euros into new buildings and modernising the existing facilities. 180 million euros went into the technical equipment and other measures such as the training centre for transmission production, logistics, the measuring centre, laboratories and centre of quality analysis. To date, around 210 million euros have been invested in DQ 200 production at Vrchlabí. The seven-speed direct shift gearbox DQ 200 is one of the most innovative automatic transmissions in the automotive industry.
Manufacturing the DQ 200 demonstrates the Czech manufacturer’s expertise in powertrain production. In addition to producing transmissions at Vrchlabí, the Mladá Boleslav site manufactures the MQ 200 and MQ/SQ 100 gearboxes. Engine manufacturer is another major focus for the company. Three- and four- cylinder engines from the EA 211 series and powertrains from the EA 111 series are built in Mladá Boleslav. ŠKODA’s new Engine Centre opened in Mladá Boleslav in September, 2014. In this project alone, ŠKODA invested around 45 million euros in partnership with the Volkswagen Group.
ŠKODA has a 116-year tradition in manufacturing engines and powertrains. In 1899 the company’s founding fathers Laurin und Klement first equipped one of their bicycles with an axillary motor. The Motocyclette was powered by a one-cylinder engine with either 1.25 or 1.75 horsepower.