KLAUS ZELLMER in the driving seat at ŠKODA

KLAUS ZELLMER in the driving seat at ŠKODA

Thomas Schäfer hands over the leadership of ŠKODA to Klaus Zellmer. See how they spent the day together in Mladá Boleslav.

30. 6. 2022 Škoda World

“We’re right here at the birthplace of ŠKODA – literally. And I think it’s a good opportunity to start where it all began,” said Thomas Schäfer at the start of their drive together through ŠKODA’s home town.

“I’ve already met many Škodians and I’ve always experienced them as very pragmatic and down-to-earth. I especially like their can-do attitude, their creativity and their great sense of humour,” said Klaus Zellmer, making it clear he was looking forward to his new workplace.

Thomas Schäfer hands over the leadership of ŠKODA to Klaus Zellmer.

At the end of the event, Zellmer symbolically took over the keys to the ŠKODA ENYAQ COUPÉ iV. Thomas Schäfer then drove away in the electric Volkswagen ID.Buzz to mark his new role as head of the German car brand. But before they parted ways, they both found the time to answer a couple of questions for ŠKODA Storyboard.

Thomas Schäfer

Will you stay connected to the ŠKODA brand?
In my heart, certainly! It’s just great to see how much passion the people here put into their work – this is something unique and inspiring. It’s the people who shape the company. However, I will also remain connected to the brand in my new position, as I will be responsible for the ‘Volume’ brand group, which, alongside ŠKODA, also includes VW, SEAT, Cupra and VW Commercial Vehicles. In the future, I’ll be paying particular attention to the collaborative partnership between these brands.

What will you remember most about your time at ŠKODA AUTO? 
I can think of many things! The world premiere of the ENYAQ iV, for example. That was a moment that really gave me goosebumps. I also found the charity concert performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra last June very moving; as the main partner, we had organised it for the bereaved families of victims of the Covid-19 pandemic, who were fighting the spread of the virus through aid organisations. To me, that was very powerful and touching.

What will you miss most about the Czech Republic? 
The people, the mentality, the great cultural events, the high quality of life, the food and, of course, the beer [laughs].

DRC5632.JPGKlaus Zellmer and Thomas Schäfer

Klaus Zellmer

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Early on I specialised in automotive economics and corporate management, and I can look back on 25 exciting years within the Volkswagen Group. I’m a team player and I like to have direct contact with colleagues. Business aside, I’m married and a proud father of an almost 15-year-old daughter. I’ve been an avid car fan and mechanic since my childhood! In my youth, I spent more time underneath cars than inside them.

Do you have a favourite model from ŠKODA’s history?
I immediately fell in love with the brand’s classic cars after my first visit to the ŠKODA Museum. If I could choose one, it would be the POPULAR MONTE CARLO.

What are you looking forward to most about Czechia?
Besides my love of cars, I like running and art. I can’t wait to explore the Czech Republic’s rich culture, with all its museums, galleries, and theatres.

What are you plans for ŠKODA AUTO?
I see a highly motivated team with a lot of passion that has mastered various challenges with flying colours over the past two years. Now we are taking the next step. Our focus in the coming days and weeks will be on relaunching the operations with renewed strength. Together with our social partner, KOVO trade union, we will bring ŠKODA to the NEXT LEVEL and successfully steer it through the decade of transformation - so that all Škodians will have a secure job tomorrow and the day after. That is my goal, that is my drive.

Related Stories Based on tags: 2022, Schäfer, Zellmer