Skoda celebrates 80 years of Kvasiny plant, investment promised
The ŠKODA AUTO Kvasiny plant celebrates 80 years of operation. Cars have been built at this East-Bohemian site since 1934, and vehicles have been running off the production lines since 1947. Today, around 4200 employees work on manufacturing the Škoda Superb, Yeti and Roomster models at Kvasiny.
The plant is a cornerstone in ŠKODA’s global production network, and also the largest employer in the East-Bohemian region of Hradec Králové. As part of their growth strategy, the Czech manufacturer will be extensively modernizing and expanding the site over the next few years in partnership with the Volkswagen Group. An additional model is also in the pipeline for the production lines at Kvasiny. The future of the site has also been secured thanks to the help of the trade union KOVO MB.
“80 Years of automotive production at Kvasiny – this anniversary once again underlines the great tradition of the Czech automotive industry,” says ŠKODA Head of Production Michael Oeljeklaus. Over 1.5 million vehicles have left the production lines at Kvasiny since 1934. “It is based on this East-Bohemian industrial tradition and the work of an excellent team that the plant is a cornerstone of our international production network today, and plays a key role in ŠKODA’s growth strategy. Over the coming years, the site’s annual production volume will continue to increase. In order to achieve this growth, we will be investing heavily in the Kvasiny site, making Kvasiny a centre of excellence in the production of SUV vehicles among other things.”
Automobiles have been produced at Kvasiny since 1934. The first ŠKODA to be built at the automotive plant in 1947 was the ŠKODA Superb, a luxury model of its time. Over the following decades, the East-Bohemian site produced a number of popular and occasionally legendary ŠKODA models, such as the two-seater convertible ŠKODA Felicia (1958-1964), the ŠKODA 110 R Coupé (1970-1980) and the ŠKODA Pick-up/VW Caddy Pick-up (1995-2001).
One crucial milestone in recent years has been the 2001 production launch of the first ŠKODA Superb of the modern era. The new ŠKODA flagship marked the beginning of the rapid expansion and modernization of the site into a powerful state-of-the-art automotive plant, which began 13 years ago. ŠKODA invested around EUR190 million in partnership with the Volkswagen Group to ensure that Kvasiny could launch the production of the ŠKODA Superb at the turn of the millennium.
The ŠKODA production site has been expanded step by step since 2001. 2006 saw the launch of new ŠKODA Roomster – made in Kvasiny. This is also true of the ŠKODA Yeti, which the manufacturer sent to the market as the first ŠKODA Compact SUV in 2009.
With the expansion of the range produced in Kvasiny, the location’s production volume has increased eightfold from 20,000 to 150,000 vehicles annually since 2002. The end of 2013 saw the 1.5 millionth vehicle to be produced at Kvasiny. Today, the site produces the ŠKODA Superb, Yeti and Roomster models.
As part of ŠKODA’s model campaign, around EUR 650 million was invested into the plant between 2001 and 2013, including significant measures in environmental protection. In mid-2013 the location began operating a new combined heat and power plant (CHP), thanks to which the local CO2 emissions have decreased 10% (reduction of 8000 tonnes of CO2) per year. This environmental protection measure alone cost the company around EUR 3 million in investments. The CHP plant won the company the ‘Environmental Project of the Year’ award in the Czech Republic.
Over the coming years, ŠKODA will continue to expand the Kvasiny plant. A new body shop is to be built, in addition to expanding the assembly and logistics areas and the renovation of the plant’s infrastructure. Currently employing around 4200 people, the ŠKODA Kvasiny plant is the largest industrial employer in the Hradec Králové region. During the early 1990s, when ŠKODA joined forces with Volkswagen, the number of employees stood at only 500 people. That number rose to more than 4000 over the following two decades. Furthermore, ŠKODA is involved in many social projects within the region. “Our social commitment to the regions where we operate is of particular importance to us, and we support this with projects that make a real difference,” says ŠKODA Board Member for HR, Bohdan Wojnar. The main focus of the commitment lies in supporting education, technical training, road safety and environmental protection.