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Skoda Auto's brand new technology centre has been officially opened today in Mladá Boleslav by Volkswagen AG BOD Chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn and Skoda Auto's BOD Chairman Reinhard Jung, and Dr. Eckhard Scholz, BOD Member for Technological Development.
By completing the construction of the new centre, Skoda Auto has reinforced its development position across the VW Group. The Company has invested CZK $1.159 billion to create 300 new jobs, primarily for mechanical and electrical engineers and other highly qualified specialists. Vacancies have been gradually filled since 2005, and the number of technological development professionals in the Czech Republic's largest car manufacturer still keeps growing. While in 1996 Skoda Auto employed 925 people in this area, in the second half of this year the number was 1,563.
In this connection, the total area of technological development sites has been extended by about
70%, to 44,432 m2. The need of new premises arose from product portfolio extensions, increasing technological and legislative requirements and growing requirements on the customers' part.
“The Czech Republic's technical education sector produces highly qualified experts with world-class knowledge and skills. Our efforts aimed at reinforcing Skoda Auto's position as an expert centre to be actively involved in the VW Group's worldwide automotive development operations therefore makes perfect sense,” stressed Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
“Skoda Auto's new technology centre plays a key role in the Czech Republic's practice-oriented support of science and research. Offering a huge potential in terms of future university dissertations, the state-of-the-art analytic and testing systems at the Technology Centre will be a great asset for students. The future of Skoda Auto in Mladá Boleslav is now based on both production facilities and the Company's own top-class technological development centre,” said Reinhard Jung.
“The construction of the new Technology Centre is part of the long-planned extension of Skoda Auto's technological development operations, reinforces Skoda Auto's research competences across the VW Group and makes it possible to continue the Company's tradition of developing and designing automobiles in the Czech Republic, said Dr. Eckhard Scholz.
The new Technology Centre has been built on a former industrial and warehousing site, right next to Skoda Auto's old technological development compound. As the building is located in a flood zone, it has been built on piles, thanks to which the ground-floor area offers 300 parking spaces for test cars and company vehicles. The site is going to be put into full operation in mid-2009, when the process of installing technology and equipment is supposed to be completed. Besides offices, the centre's operations will include electronics and electrical engineering development laboratories and workshops, engine and chassis development sites, acoustics and noise test rooms, a sunlight simulation test facility, climate chambers and a light tunnel.
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