The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the worldwide economic system arduous and analysts are saying the slowdown because of the affect of Coronavirus shall be worst than the 2008 monetary disaster. The car business globally is struggling to maintain their crops energetic and promote automobiles. Here’s what Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier has to say on the present challenges and penalties of the coronavirus pandemic and searching forward.
How arduous has the coronavirus disaster hit Skoda?
Our world gross sales markets have been severely affected. This implies that we’re at the moment producing little or no income, whereas our mounted prices stay the identical. This is a gigantic burden. In the approaching days and weeks, it is going to be essential for society as a complete to strike the precise steadiness between offering the very best safety for residents from the virus and securing the economic system and jobs.
Can you estimate the monetary penalties of the coronavirus pandemic?
No, it’s a lot too early for that. On the constructive aspect, we’ve been working profitably and at the moment have adequate liquidity. For years, we’ve been producing at our capability restrict. That’s why, sadly, we in all probability received’t have the ability to totally make up for the lack of manufacturing this yr. All the extra cause for us to hope that the coronavirus pandemic might be contained as shortly as doable in order that we are able to provide the various clients ready for our automobiles. I’d wish to take this chance to precise my honest due to all of the Škodians who’re dealing with this case so nicely.
Companies are offering help for society in numerous methods. What is Skoda doing?
We’re serving to in a number of methods. For instance, our Technical Development Department is producing 3D-printed reusable FFP3 respirators in collaboration with the Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production (RICAIP) and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC), that are urgently wanted in Czech hospitals. In India, too, the place we’re accountable for the Group, our colleagues on the Pune plant are producing face shields which are being donated to docs.
When manufacturing is restarted, how do you plan to guard your workers’ well being?
We’re at the moment engaged on a ‘Safe Production’ and ‘Safe Office’ concept to supply the very best safety for all our workers and particularly these working in shut proximity to 1 one other, for instance, in manufacturing. The concept contains in depth protecting measures, akin to face masks and disinfectants. These are already in place for all those that are finishing up pressing and vital work through the shutdown.