Open to the Future
At this year’s foremen’s meetings, many questions touched on eMobility
In January and February, discussion meetings of foremen and forewomen with ŠKODA AUTO Board Members took place at the Mladá Boleslav, Kvasiny, and Vrchlabí plants. Guests from the KOVO Trade Union accepted the invitations as well. The company introduced the tradition of having these events three years ago to inform its key direct area workers about current issues affecting the carmaker’s future. This year’s participation confirmed that the number of workers in this field keeps growing. In this context, all the Board Members highlighted how important the foremen and forewomen are for the carmaker and thanked them for their work. “Your position is the first line of leadership. You have a huge impact on the management of our team and employees themselves. Talk to them, discuss the current situation, collect ideas”, said Bohdan Wojnar, the Board Member for Human Resources Management. This year’s meeting started with the results of a survey completed among the electromobility foremen (see the chart for results). The rounds showed that the foremen and forewomen are not indifferent to the ŠKODA brand’s future development. The open discussions, which were mostly moderated by Marek Jancák, Head of PF – Car Production, addressed eMobility issues like recharging infrastructure and battery production and capacities, as well as the possibility of offering hybrid and electric cars to our employees.
PKM – Component Production
The foremen’s rounds represent beneficial meetings, and I would like them to be held more frequently during the year. I am glad that I’ve learnt more about ŠKODA AUTO’s visions for the future, as I will further benefit from the foremen’s round topics during my communication with our team.
Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stressed the uniqueness of this year which is related to the celebrations of the 125th anniversary, the OCTAVIA model’s production launch and the presentation of the first purely electric car. “For the automotive industry, 2020 is a breakthrough year, and it simultaneously marks the beginning of a decisive decade in which the transformation from the conventional combustion engine to an electric one will take place. For electrified models, we also need to maintain the high quality typical for the ŠKODA brand”, he said. Dr. Oeljeklaus, Board Member for Production and Logistics, looked back at the last year’s FORCE Program results and informed the audience of the 2020 objectives. The foremen and forewomen were interested in production plans, whether hybrids and electric cars would be offered at the same time, as well as how the carmaker would provide sufficient service and recharging possibilities.
PFO-L/2 – Paint Shop M17
I found the meeting beneficial. I was most interested in what would happen next with the carmaker, which new cars and models it was preparing. I also learnt about the status of production at our other plants. Last but not least, I welcomed the opportunity to meet other foremen, which rarely happens.
The leadership’s opening words were followed by a discussion of the foremen’s questions. They inquired about the models to be produced in Kvasiny and the future of the 18-shift operation. The foremen were also interested in the current number of SUPERB iV model orders and whether increased production is planned for this model. However, not only production topics were discussed. The talks also focused on communication, specifically what language the VW Group will speak in the future.
Christian Bleiel, Head of Component Production, highlighted the role of our foremen in the production process. Dr. Oeljeklaus appreciated that everyone had arrived at the meeting, even though the spring break was already in progress. The participants were particularly interested in whether they would also install gearboxes for hybrids at the Vrchlabí plant. They were assured that the plant had guaranteed capacity until 2030, and other products are now under consideration.
Survey results in Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny
Have you had the opportunity to drive an electric car?
Would you prefer electric to conventional drive if their prices were comparable?
Do you think that ŠKODA AUTO’s electromobility is on the right track?