I came to ŠKODA on 10 March 1977, and that’s the exact date. Production of the 120 was supposed to start up then, and a lot of new people were being hired. I lived in Nymburk, but I had a grandmother in Mladá Boleslav and was terribly keen on this job. When it worked out and I passed the selection process, I was thrilled to bits. A dream came true for me as a young man. And I threw myself into my new job, very conscientiously, which is what I’m like – and I really enjoyed it.
I started off by doing assembly work. My foreman noticed that I was good at it, and when he transferred to the quality assurance department a few years later he took me along as part of his team. That was the ideal preparation for my subsequent job at the test centre, where all the new models are given the once-over before they are allowed to enter production. My area of speciality was water resistance. And that was how I moved from the ŠKODA Favorit to the Felicia, Octavia, Fabia, Superb, and got to know all the cars essentially right from their earliest days.
Which of the models is the most impressive? The Superb, without a doubt. And also the Fabia, especially the new model, which is a very remarkable car. But what launched the series of ambitious modern cars was definitely the ŠKODA Favorit in the late 1980s. I think this model was our ticket to the realities of a market economy, which we acquired shortly afterwards. It was the key to the door, so to speak, that Volkswagen came through. It enabled ŠKODA to prove that it could produce automobiles that stand up to international competition. Who knows whether such a solid investor would have been interested in us otherwise.