ŠKoda Auto has opened a new facility at its Czech technology centre at Mladá Boleslav that it says will enhance its engineering capabilities and create 300 new jobs, primarily for mechanical and electrical engineers and other highly qualified specialists.

Škoda says the need for new premises arose from Skoda product portfolio extensions, increasing technological and legislative requirements as well as growing customer demands.

Employment at the site is set to rise to 1,563, up from 925 in 1996.

“The Czech Republic’s technical education sector produces highly qualified experts with world-class knowledge and skills. To be actively involved in the Volkswagen Group’s worldwide automotive development operations, it makes perfect sense that our efforts are aimed to reinforce Skoda Auto’s position as an expert centre,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn.

“Škoda Auto’s new Technology Centre plays a key role in the Czech Republic’s practical-orientation in support of science and research. Offering huge potential in terms of future university research, the state-of-the-art analytic and testing systems at the Technology Centre will be a great asset for students. The future of Škoda 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 planned extension of Škoda Auto’s technological development operations. This reinforces Škoda Auto’s research competences across the Volkswagen 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, next to Škoda Auto’s existing technological development compound.

The site will be fully operational in mid-2009, when the process of installing technology and equipment is scheduled to be completed.

Besides offices, the centre’s operations will include electronics and electrical engineering development laboratories and workshops, with engine and chassis development sites, acoustics and noise test rooms, a sunlight simulation test facility, climate chambers and a light tunnel.