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Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ŠKODA Academy moved consistently to online offerings. Trainees and students at the company’s training facility now benefit from a diverse virtual training programme that is continuously being expanded. IT courses, in particular, are in high demand, with 4,100 people enrolled. The company is also pushing ahead with the development of its workforce in the field of electromobility: to date, more than 16,500 employees have completed special courses. 

Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, explained: “We responded quickly, efficiently and pragmatically to the COVID-19 pandemic by consistently digitalising our vocational training and professional development courses. Our trainees, students and employees benefit from this boost in digitalisation and can easily and conveniently continue their training from home. This means the transfer of knowledge is ensured, even during a pandemic. I want to thank Alois Kauer, Head of the ŠKODA Academy, and his team for the smooth changeover from the classroom to online training.” 

Alois Kauer, Head of the ŠKODA Academy, emphasised: “Last year, our ŠKODA Academy proved that it can live up to its educational mission even under difficult circumstances. We have invested over 340 million Czech korunas in training programmes and technological equipment since 2013 – that is paying off in these challenging times. Last year, 4,100 people completed an IT course, and more than 16,500 employees were trained in electromobility. This year, we will continue to expand our range of digital vocational training and professional development programmes.” 

When production in the Czech plants came to a halt during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, training programmes also had to be suspended. In response, the ŠKODA Academy increasingly digitalised its courses and focused on live webinars. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, ŠKODA AUTO had invested in the equipment required for distance learning for trainees and students. In addition, the company’s training facility developed new online tools. 

To support employees and managers in the transition to remote working, ŠKODA AUTO has launched the #STRONGERTOGETHER project. In addition to technological equipment, the car manufacturer provides its staff with the relevant materials, guides and further training opportunities so they can efficiently adapt to working remotely. Managers are learning new techniques to guide their teams through these changing conditions and the ŠKODA Academy has produced manuals and offers courses to support them. 

Equipped for the future: electromobility courses and IT training 
While comprehensive digitalisation measures were being implemented with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ŠKODA AUTO’s special training programmes focusing on electromobility continued. More than 16,500 employees have now completed the programmes introduced in 2016, which are not only designed for staff and students, but also for the employees of its suppliers. Since 2017, all trainees from the vocational school have undergone electromobility training specifically tailored to their line of work. In 2020, ŠKODA AUTO established another course in this area and more than 700 participants have already completed this training programme. 

Throughout this digital transformation, IT training has become even more important. ŠKODA AUTO now covers the entire spectrum, offering everything from an introductory professional development course to comprehensive IT training programmes. For example, employees can train to become junior data analysts. The company places great importance on using state-of-the-art technologies that are also prevalent in the workplace, for example in the field of hydraulics and pneumatics or in control systems. ŠKODA AUTO also looks at current training trends and, for example, uses live and online formats with gamification elements in e-learning. DEON provides a platform for virtual collaboration. 

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, ŠKODA AUTO’s production and operational staff who are in quarantine are having the option of working remotely from 18 January 2021 – following an agreement to this effect with the carmaker’s social partner, the KOVO union. From 25 January, this will also apply to technical/commercial staff whose area of work means they cannot work remotely. This mobile work regime takes a form of qualification improvement. All that will be required is an agreement with their supervisor. The remote-working option for production and operational staff, as well as commercial/technical staff, is a pilot project in collaboration with the KOVO union. The agreement is based not only on the company’s trust but also on its responsibility for the health of its workforce and on providing good living and working conditions. At the same time, every employee is expected to act in a fair and responsible manner. 

Attractive: wide range of collaborations has many advantages for students and trainees 
ŠKODA AUTO collaborates with approximately 20 universities in the Czech Republic – for example in the context of internships or in the preparation of final assignments – to promote the dialogue between business and science. Graduates of the academy are provided with opportunities, such as professional internships or international trainee positions including internships abroad. Furthermore, there is a development and talent programme for doctoral students to work on their thesis together with ŠKODA AUTO experts. Since 2019, ŠKODA AUTO has honoured the best doctoral thesis of the year with the ‘Laurin & Klement’ award including prize money of up to 80,000 Czech korunas.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

ŠKODA AUTO’s Technical Development department opened a new centre for the manufacture of test vehicles and prototypes at its Mladá Boleslav site. The new facility means that these special vehicles can now be built completely under one roof. The carmaker uses state-of-the-art technologies, such as robot stations and virtual reality solutions, through the entire production process. 

Johannes Neft, new ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development since 1 January, said: “The use of test cars allows us to draw conclusions about numerous technical parameters at an early stage of development and make the necessary adjustments long before serial production of a new model commences. We are now taking the next step. In future, we will build 300 test vehicles and 120 prototypes per year with maximum efficiency under one roof in our new, state-of-the-art facility at the Mladá Boleslav site. We have created the ideal conditions here to develop vehicles at the highest level and that will shape the future of our brand.” 

In order to monitor not only individual components but also the vehicle as a whole, classic tests remain essential, despite digital simulations and models gaining more importance in the testing phase. Due to the increasingly complex and powerful electronic architecture of modern vehicles, the focus is on functional tests of electrics, electronics and assistance systems, as well as on communication between in-car computers. ŠKODA produced some of the test vehicles for the all-electric ENYAQ iV at the new facility. 

David Vaněk, Head of Model and Prototype Manufacture, added: “Our new facility has three floors and houses the parts warehouse, body shop, final assembly and paint shop, all within the smallest of footprints ensuring short distances. At the same time, the facility’s high degree of automation allows for more agile processes and a significant increase in production capacity for test vehicles and prototypes. Furthermore, the building features state-of-the-art virtual reality technologies as well as 168 workplaces in open-space offices and 13 meeting rooms. A large part of the complex – 14,000 m² – is used for vehicle manufacture.” 

The ground floor accommodates the parts warehouse including a covered yard for unloading trucks. The car bodies are built on the second floor, while the third floor contains the final assembly and the paint shop. A freight elevator is used to transport the material between floors. 

Thanks to two robot stations, the proportion of automation in the body shop has increased from 15 to 45 per cent. This doubles production capacity to ten car bodies per week – while requiring 20 per cent less space. Furthermore, weight-saving designs can also be manufactured here, as ŠKODA AUTO has expanded its body shop to include an innovation centre for testing joining techniques, such as clinching, riveting, flow drill screw (FDS) fastening, laser welding and composite construction. 

Virtual reality technologies allow workstations to be preconfigured and customised, and state-of-the-art IT systems are used in logistics. Quality control will be integrated into the production process and run parallel to the respective manufacturing steps. The new facility also includes an up to 300 km/h rolling road for this purpose. 

The new model and prototype production facility is also very advanced from an ecological point of view. The short distances save approximately 1,800 l of fuel per year, therefore enabling a decrease in CO2 emissions of roughly five tonnes. The entire warehousing now being incorporated into vehicle manufacture results in further savings, reducing logistics costs by more than 150,000 euros annually.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

The first production model from the INDIA 2.0 project spearheaded by ŠKODA AUTO on the Indian subcontinent has been named KUSHAQ. This mid-size SUV’s designation is derived from Sanskrit, an Indian language that is thousands of years old. In the “language of the gods”, still used today, the word “kushak” denotes a king or an emperor. This complements the powerful appearance of the new ŠKODA KUSHAQ to perfection. The spelling with the letter “K” at the beginning and the letter “Q” at the end is in keeping with the distinctive nomenclature for the internationally successful ŠKODA KODIAQ, KAROQ and KAMIQ SUV models. The new ŠKODA KUSHAQ will have its world premiere in March 2021.

The release of the new KUSHAQ is about to ring in a new era for ŠKODA AUTO on the Indian subcontinent. This is the region where the Czech car manufacturer oversees all Volkswagen Group activities within the scope of the INDIA 2.0 project, which encompasses a model offensive consisting of four new ŠKODA and Volkswagen mid-size models, starting with the KUSHAQ. All of these vehicles will be based on the MQB-A0-IN version of the Modular Transverse Matrix, which ŠKODA AUTO has specifically adapted to meet the needs of the Indian market. 


The ambitious goals on the Indian market are underlined by selecting the name KUSHAQ, which comes from Sanskrit – a language that according to Hindu mythology was created by the god Brahma. As the traditional language of religion, the arts and the sciences, Sanskrit is still in use today and counts as one of the 22 official languages of India. ŠKODA has adapted the spelling of the word “kushak”, meaning a king or emperor, to match its SUV nomenclature. This is why the ŠKODA KUSHAQ is written with a “K” at the beginning and a “Q” at the end, just like the successful KODIAQ, KAROQ and KAMIQ SUV models. The new SUV combines signature ŠKODA AUTO qualities such as a distinctive design, superior comfort and safety as well as excellent value for money with the features demanded by sophisticated Indian customers.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

For decades, cars would only have a heated rear window to supplement the heating for the interior. Later, electrically heated exterior mirrors and heated wiper nozzles were added, ensuring they did not freeze even in sub-zero temperatures. Today there are many other features, such as auxiliary heating and an innovative heat pump in ŠKODA models – for even more warmth and comfort in winter. 

A heated windscreen quickly improves visibility, which means that ŠKODA’s trademark ice scraper only needs to be used on the side windows. In the ŠKODA models SCALA and KAMIQ, fine heating filaments in the windscreen, which are barely visible to the driver, can rapidly thaw a thin layer of ice. For the ŠKODA KAROQ and models above, this task is performed by a completely invisible film in the laminated windscreen. 

Warm hands and heated rear seats 
A heated steering wheel, available as an option in all ŠKODA model series, offers additional comfort. Cold fingers or thick gloves are now a thing of the past. ŠKODA not only provides the comfort of heated seats to the driver and front passenger; the two outer seats in the rear can also be heated on request from the SCALA and KAMIQ model series and above. An optional auxiliary heater, available for the ŠKODA KAROQ and above, offers even more comfort. Even before driving off, it warms up the vehicle’s interior to a pleasant temperature and defrosts frozen windows. In addition, the engine is also pre-heated, which reduces fuel consumption and significantly reduces the load during the cold start phase. The ŠKODA auxiliary heaters can be activated via remote control or the MyŠKODA App, or they can be programmed in advance for a specific start time. 

Innovative interior heating and extended range in electric ŠKODA iV models 
Owners of ŠKODA iV models can also conveniently pre-heat their vehicle during the charging process, controlled and programmed via the MyŠKODA App. The energy required for pre-heating comes from the mains supply and not from the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery, which means the maximum electric range is maintained. A heat pump will also be available as an option for the all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV. All-electric vehicles are designed in such a way that less waste heat is produced for heating the interior than in models with an internal combustion engine. This is where the heat pump comes in. It works in a similar way to an air conditioner in terms of technology, but with a different operating principle. 

Hot tip from ŠKODA Genuine Accessories 
For anyone looking to take the edge off cold winter mornings, ŠKODA Genuine Accessories offers another hot accessory: A mobile espresso machine, which fits in the cup holder in the centre console and is powered by the 12V socket, prepares a hot Italian pick-me-up in two minutes.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

Since March 2020, the distinctive green BeRider fleet of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s eScooter-sharing service has covered over half a million kilometres. Due to high demand, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab will keep the scooters on the road in Prague this winter. 

Since March 2020, the BeRider fleet of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s eScooter-sharing service has covered over 500,000 km. That equates to approximately 12 round-the-world trips in the Czech capital in less than 18 months. 

Jarmila Plachá, Head of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, emphasised: “The BeRider eScooter-sharing service is a perfect fit for today’s times and ideally complements our current ecosystem of mobility offers. Using an eScooter around town is practical, fun, environmentally friendly and – especially in COVID times – both safe and responsible. What’s more, BeRider ties in with Prague’s network of public transport, making it ‘simply clever’ for the last mile in the city, not just for the owners of a ŠKODA.” 

In its second season, BeRider was still very much in demand and enjoyed an extremely positive response. With 1,646 trips booked within a single day, BeRider achieved a new record in 2020. The scooters proved to be a popular choice in the Czech capital, even in adverse weather and cooler temperatures. So ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab decided to keep the green fleet on the road this winter too. On top of their regular equipment, the scooters have also been fitted with winter tyres to ensure maximum safety at all times, even in the colder months. 

A comprehensive set of hygiene measures are in place to help prevent users from catching the virus. Since the well-liked service entered its second season in March 2020, BeRider made face masks available for its customers, and the helmets – as well as top cases and handlebar grips – are regularly disinfected. 

The BeRider app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and, following a redesign, is now even faster, more user-friendly and more reliable. 

The ‘minute packages’ were particularly well received in 2020. Customers can opt for a 100-, 200-, 300- or 1,000-minute package. Depending on the option chosen, the fee is then between CZK 4.20 and 2.90 CZK per minute. The Christmas vouchers – available in the BeRider e-shop – have also become a sought-after gift. BeRider’s special Christmas bundles – valid to the end of the year – are just one of the gift options available.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com