The new chairman of the carmaker’s board of directors claims that the discussion about the further direction of the Škoda brand was conducted rather emotionally. According to him, there is no dispute about the position of the brand as such, but there is a critical discussion about the distribution of supply and production of cars.
Indirectly confirmed the news that the production portfolio of Škoda’s Czech factories could change in the coming years. There is speculation about the relocation of Seatu Ateca production to Spain, or the relocation of Škoda Superb production to Bratislava. At the same time, however, the graduated production technologist indicated that it would be a mistake not to make full use of the Kvasina plant, which is one of the most modern, flexible and best-cost in the entire group.
According to Schäfer, Škoda does not want to be a competition for Dacia, as the unions threatened. He sees competitors from other manufacturers. “We want to build new potential for some markets and become more attractive to other layers of customers. Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Opel and the French are our key competitors, we will attack there, “ said at a meeting of the Works Council.
“Our models provide a great price-performance ratio, positively surprise with space and ease of use.” added Schäfer, adding that Škoda must continue to be available to the majority clientele.
Schäfer also rules out the possibility that Škoda, under his leadership, should lose its position within the group. On the contrary, he claims that he wants to represent Škoda more strongly in Wolfsburg, so that it will be beneficial both for the Czech carmaker and for the entire concern. “In many ways and technical solutions, we can be a role model for other brands. We are successful, we have great ideas and sometimes even better cars than in the parent company, which then leads to envy. I hope that I will be able to mediate relationships for a quiet job, “ adds the origin of the German manager.
Thomas Schäfer took up the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Škoda Auto with immediate effect at the beginning of August, before which he served as CEO of the South African representation of the Volkswagen Group. In the past, he also worked for Daimler, for example. He replaced the position Bernhard Maier, who has been in charge of Škoda since November 2015, when he joined it as part of the then managerial conference caused by the dieselgate case. Behind-the-scenes reports say that Maier was not as sympathetic to electromobility as the head of the entire Herbert Diess Group, and therefore had to leave the Škoda management.