A new record has been set in the Czech car industry: one million vehicles produced in the first nine months. It is the first time that the mark was surpassed in Q3, a rise of 7.3 percent in production over the same period last year.
The importance of the car industry to the Czech economy cannot be underestimated so it’s only good news that production is up. And how. On Wednesday, numbers released by the Automotive Industry Association confirmed a new record: one million cars (996,376, according to news site iDnes) were produced in the first nine months of 2016, putting the industry on track to roll out 1.3 million vehicles by the year’s end. The head of the Automotive Industry Association, Martin Jahn, told financial news site iHned that the increase had been spurred by increased domestic demand as well as a demand for Czech-built cars in Western Europe.
The Czech Republic has three major car makers: the Mladá Boleslav-based Škoda Auto, TPCA in Kolín, and Hyundai in Nošovice. Škoda Auto accounted for more than half of this year’s output so far, registering increased production of nearly 10 percent. By comparison, TPCA saw increased production of 5.8 percent and Hyundai, a bump of 2.8 percent. According to iDnes, this year Hyundai plans to build 350,000 vehicles and TPCA is aiming for a total of 224,000.
Others citing the importance of the automobile industry for the Czech economy as a whole is the vice president of the Automotive Industry Association is Bohdan Wojnar, who told iDnes.cz the news was obviously positive. But he made clear it would be a mistake for the period of growth to be squandered, making clear the industry needed to take steps to cement long-term competitiveness and continued performance, readying for changes as the result of digitalisation ie. the fourth industrial revolution. At a conference in Brno on the future of the industry this week some of the main issues discussed, according to iDnes.cz, was the improvement of technical training, infrastructure, and mobility of labour.