It was supposed to be one of the largest investment projects in the Czech Republic in decades. Moreover, one that would provide the local automotive industry with at least some such perspective for the future. In the end, nothing comes of it, and the Czech Republic takes credit for a spectacular loss. In addition, his prospects continue to decline.
They just won’t build it
What’s going on? Simply because, after approximately a year of feverish negotiations, the Volkswagen concern announced that it would not build one of its giant factories for the production of batteries for electric vehicles in the Czech Republic, as had been expected. And this despite the fact that this company already has significant investments here in the form of Škodovka from Mladá Boleslav.
Unfortunately, from Volkswagen’s side, it cannot be perceived other than as a real blow to the domestic economy and, above all, to the government, which was unable to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion, despite the fact that it was one of its priorities. There were even such strong voices on the part of the ministers that it would simply be the case that the gigafactory would be built here.
As it turns out, it won’t. Although Volkswagen only officially postponed this decision, observers are clear. He threw the possibility of building this factory in Líny in the Pilsen region overboard and will not return to it.
Volkswagen has recently chosen three locations where it will build a gigafactory. These are Salzgitter in Germany, Valencia in Spain and St. Thomas. Initially, other locations were also considered, but it turns out that the start of electromobility at this concern is not as fast as expected, and thus the need for batteries will not be so significant.
We will not get out of this
The fact that the battery factory is not built here will have far-reaching consequences. Within the Volkswagen concern, Škoda Auto will probably be set aside for the needs of commuter combustion engines and not so much will be invested in it in the name of electromobility. This will ensure production for the next ten years, but then huge problems can arise, as the brand will have nothing to offer against the big European, Chinese and American competition.
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After all, the Czech Republic lags significantly behind in terms of electromobility. While, for example, Poland or Hungary have already been promised gigafactories by other companies, and the largest Chinese car producer, BYD, will now build a production plant in the latter, there is no interest at all in the Czech Republic, despite the fact that vehicle production has a long tradition here. But it may very well happen that it will end together with internal combustion engines and the definitive arrival of electric vehicles.
Comment by Tomáš Mrkvička