We want to keep all the Škodovians onboard
Interview with the Chairman of the Board of Directors Bernhard Maier
The carmaker is resuming production. How are you going to protect the employees’ health?
We have elaborated extensive “Safe Production” and “Safe Offices” concepts covering more than 80 specific measures. These include, but are not limited to, sufficient respirators and disinfectants or random temperature measurements at plant gates. We are striving to protect all employees in the workplace, whether in the production area or at the office. It is important for everyone to observe the given measures for the benefit of their safety and the health of their colleagues.
In recent years, we have achieved record results and solid liquidity. Based on these results, I believe that we will overcome the dip produced by the shutdown.
Which economic impacts do you expect the coronavirus pandemic will have on society?
It is impossible to estimate the overall impact. However, we know for sure that we have not been spared by the crisis. We have evaluated various scenarios, but we won’t be able to catch up with the production cycle we have lost, given our capacities’ high utilisation. However, we can see from China’s example that customers will return to car showrooms and buy our cars. The gradual production restart is all the more important so that we can once again deliver our cars to dealers.
Are the jobs at ŠKODA AUTO safe?
We have made it a top priority to keep all Škodovians onboard. I’m very optimistic, and I believe that we will succeed. We will need every single employee to continue growing after this crisis. In recent years, we have achieved record results and solid liquidity. Based on these results, I believe that we will overcome the dip produced by the shutdown. Nevertheless, even this financial reserve is not infinite, so we do need to relaunch production as soon as possible.
What makes you so sure that ŠKODA AUTO will overcome the crisis?
In its 125-year history, the carmaker has already successfully solved several complex situations. In these times, I see how the entire and large ŠKODA family has grown even closer. I consider it great how we support each other and manage the crisis prudently while maintaining our ability to act. Thus, we are demonstrating the ŠKODA brand character: solidarity, team spirit and creativity. Thank you very much for that, dear Škodovians! My thanks also go to the KOVO trade union for its constructive cooperation based on mutual trust. RED