Skoda’s success in recent years has triggered a lot of envy in the automotive industry, including from within the brand’s parent company VW Group.
You might remember a report from last year about some of VW passenger car brand’s managers and unions looking into ways to curb competition from Skoda. One of the discussed ways to do that was to move some of the production from the Czech Republic to some underused plants in Germany.
On the one hand, that was seen as a way to curb Skoda’s “unfair” cheaper labor advantage. On the other hand, it would help offset declining Passat and Golf output at VW’s plants in Germany.
Apparently, things are starting to move in that direction. VW would like to shift some Skoda Superb production to the Emden plant, which currently builds the Passat. Except the move sees strong resistance from Skoda trade unions, which oppose any idea of moving some of the production of the brand’s flagship model to Germany.
In a statement cited by Reuters, the unions’ committed “categorically rejected” the prospect of transferring Superb car output outside Skoda’s home country. Union leader Jaroslav Povsik said the Superb is “part of our DNA,” vowing to fight to keep production of the flagship model in the Czech Republic. “It creates profit that we would miss,” Povsik said.
The Skoda Superb is currently made at the Kvasiny plant alongside the Kodiaq, Karoq and Seat Ateca SUVs. The facility works three shifts a day, including Saturdays. Skoda has already announced it would shift some Karoq production to VW’s Osnabrück plant in northwest Germany.
However, Skoda spokesman Tomas Kotera told Reuters there were “no other changes planned” at the moment. VW spokeswoman Leslie Bothge labeled the trade union statement as “speculation,” declining to comment.