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News of  August 29, 2000

ŠKODA AUTO’s New Research & Development Centre Opened

Photo: Skoda

Mladá Boleslav’s - ŠKODA AUTO opened its new R&D Centre which will provide space for 160 employees. In less than 13 months, a very modern R&D building of nontraditional style was built on the banks of the Jizera river on 75 special columns which are to eliminate the risk of river flooding the new building area. The R&D Centre’s architects fully implemented the principle of open communication. The building is subdivided with glass partitions which allow the work space to be arranged as required. The offices are equipped with modular furniture which can be combined and rearranged at will.

As the Member of the Škoda Auto Board of directors who is responsible for R&D, Wilfried Bockelmann said that, "the R&D Centre is the final milestone of the dynamic and unrepeatable evolution of Škoda Auto´s independent research and development´. According to Wilfried Bockelmann, the start of operation of the R&D Centre is another proof that the speculation about Škoda Auto becoming simply an assembly plant only, with technical development disappearing, will not come true at all. "Škoda Auto has confirmed its identity from the past years. The company continues to develop its independence based on well-balanced co-operation with VW Group,´ added W. Bockelmann.

The number of R&D employees grew from the original 600 in 1991 to the present 1160, a further increase in human resources is planned for the period of 1999 to 2001. In comparison with the year 1991, the number of projects Škoda Auto´s R&D dept. works on, increased from 5 to 40. Additional projects to be used solely by VW Group Headquarters are being realised. This shows how the premium-quality work and dedication of the Czech engineers are held in esteem and appreciated.

The nontraditional architecture R&D of the building-the new concept of transparency, attracts much attention. According to Claus Hohmann, one of the project leaders, state-of-the-art offices were created on the bank of the Jizera river. "The very modern conception, transparent elements combined with closed walls allows the staff," as Claus Hohmann states, "to concentrate on work without optical communication being limited."

(August 28, 2000)


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