ŠKODA AUTO: The Brand from Central Europe
With over a hundred years of manufacturing experience, ŠKODA AUTO is the largest industrial company in the Czech Republic and the third oldest car manufacturer in the world. In 1991, it was integrated as the fourth brand into the Volkswagen Group and positioned as the Group’s entry brand. Since then, production has tripled. Today, ŠKODA operates three production plants in the Czech Republic and ŠKODA cars are also manufactured in six plants abroad. Exports to 103 different countries on five continents account for 7% of total production. Among the best known ŠKODA models are the Octavia, the Fabia, the Superb, the Yeti and the ŠKODA Citigo, a popular model in Europe. In 2014, the fourth year of the ŠKODA growth strategy, 1,037,200 cars were sold worldwide. For the first time ŠKODA’s European market share grew to over 4.35%, while China maintained its position as the strongest market with over 281,400 cars sold, an increase of 24%. In the past few years ŠKODA has consistently received top rankings from the Czech Top 100 survey in the categories of “Most Significant Company” and “Most Recognized Company”. As an employer of 3% of the Czech workforce and with over 25,000 employees worldwide, ŠKODA runs the only company vocational school and university in the Czech Republic and is a multiple winner of the “Employer of the Year Award”.
Global and Local Priorities Create Positive Impact
As a major corporate player in Central Europe, ŠKODA is aware of the impact it can have on society. ŠKODA has therefore identified four global and two local priorities and supports selected projects. At global level, the company focuses on topics such as road safety (boosting road safety education as well as vehicle safety), technical education (raising awareness and boosting the attraction of technical professions), child care (creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged children) and barrier-free mobility (enhancing knowledge of mobility options for the disabled). At local level, key topics include employee care and regional cooperation.
Focus on Road Safety
Every ŠKODA’s model series on the market has won the maximum 5-star rating in the recognized Euro NCAP crash test. Most recently, the new ŠKODA Fabia was awarded 5 stars in November 2014, again documenting the consistently high safety level of ŠKODA vehicles. To maintain this standard, ŠKODA’s development engineers design innovative assistance systems, concerted restraint systems, modern chassis frame technology, high-performance light systems and optimized car body structures.
Environmental topics at ŠKODA are tackled by the dedicated GreenFuture program, based on the three pillars GreenProduct, GreenFactory und GreenRetail, which aims to improve and encourage the company’s ecological sustainable development. ŠKODA makes a continuous effort to limit the impact of its operations on the environment by systematically reducing emissions, developing more ecological models, increasing waste recycling and decreasing energy consumption, as well as by using renewable materials. Ecological innovation forms an integral part of the product innovation process, as demonstrated in 2012 when ŠKODA started production of new direct-injection engines that were proven to weigh less, thus reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Highlights of ŠKODA’s ecological activities include the company’s own pellet heating plant and a project supporting the planting of a tree for each car sold in the Czech Republic.