The Škoda Transportation group is significantly strengthening its position in the field of repair and production of public transport vehicles, signing an agreement for the purchase of a 100% stake in Ostrava-based company EKOVA ELECTRIC. The share will be transferred to the Škoda Transportation group in 2021. The entry of a strong partner in the form of the Škoda Transportation group will contribute to the further development of EKOVA ELECTRIC.
"The key news is that with the signing of the contract, not only was a decision made about the future of EKOVA ELECTRIC, but the decision to build a new unique competence center in Ostrava was also definitively made. It will focus on traditional repairs and modernization of vehicles for Dopravní podnik Ostrava, but also for other transport companies. Thanks to the expertise and many years of experience of our employees, we will also manufacture new trams, electric buses and trolleybuses for current and future Škoda customers," explains Chairman of the Board and President of the Škoda Transportation group, Petr Brzezina. "We are going to invest significantly in the modernization of the plant and technological equipment. Škoda's entry into the Ostrava-based company will help stabilize and create new jobs in the Moravian-Silesian Region, which is certainly good news for the entire region in the current difficult economic situation.”
Škoda Transportation has been operating in the Moravian-Silesian Region for a long time. For example, technological know-how in the field of control, multimedia and diagnostic systems within the Škoda Digital subsidiary is concentrated in Ostrava. A major subsidiary, Škoda Vagonka, operates directly in Ostrava, focusing on the development and production of rail vehicles. It is currently undergoing a crucial stage of growth - it is investing about one billion crowns in the expansion and modernization of its facilities, and it will create hundreds of new jobs. "Thanks to the investments of the Škoda Transportation group, the Ostrava region is becoming the center of a comprehensive solution for modern transport systems. In addition to traditional heavy industry, technology centers of the future are emerging, and in the field of transport we are a leader in transformation, bringing sophisticated production with high added value supported by in-house research and development," says Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Škoda Transportation group, Tomáš Ignačák.
"For a long time now we have been intensively dealing with the long-term sustainable future and prosperity of EKOVA Electric in the technologically rapidly changing world of mobility. I am glad that the period of uncertainty and speculation is coming to an end and the company, which was established almost 10 years ago by splitting from Dopravní podnik Ostrava, is now becoming part of the strong and rapidly expanding domestic group Škoda Transportation. This is good news for EKOVA and its employees, who will have the opportunity to make full use of their potential and technical skill, for our transport company, as well as for the entire city and region. Negotiations on the sale of EKOVA were not easy, but they were conducted correctly, resulting in an agreement with which we are satisfied," said Mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura.
"Dopravní podnik Ostrava, as the owner of EKOVA ELECTRIC, constantly strived to increase or at least maintain the value of the entrusted property, employment of qualified people and competitiveness in the management of this company. However, we came to the expert conclusion that selling to a strong investor is the most advantageous option for us at the given time and place. Other options pose a disproportionately high risk for us. I believe that the choice of the new owner will be beneficial for all parties involved and that history will confirm that this decision was right. I wish EKOVA ELECTRIC, its future owners, all its employees and partners the best possible future, success in further business and, last but not least, even better service for our transport company, although EKOVA must always defend this opportunity in a proper public tender,” added Daniel Morys - Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dopravní podnik Ostrava.
EKOVA is becoming another important part of the development of the entire Škoda Transportation group, which will see a significant increase in production volume in the coming years. "We want to make the most of the experience and knowledge of the company's employees. We plan to expand production and create jobs in Ostrava in a number of professions, from manual workers to top developers," says Tomáš Ignačák, adding that a number of local subcontractors will benefit from the company's growth. "We will thus participate in the development of the whole region," he emphasizes.
The Škoda Transportion group is not only strong in the Ostrava region as an employer; it also cooperates with the Science and Technology Center in Dolní Vítkovice, it supports the Baník Ostrava football club, it is part of the Association for the Development of the Moravian-Silesian Region, it supports organizations supporting cancer patients and cultural, social and other activities of the city and region.
Only few brands have made the Czech Republic famous all over the world, like the Pilsen company Škoda has. People have been using its products for more than one hundred fifty years. Today, the company Škoda Transportation is focused on vehicles for public transport and for railways.