The plant began to increase production of DQ 200 automatic transmissions due to the high demand for this transmission throughout the Volkswagen concern. According to Slimák, the expansion of the plant’s production also brought about the fact that it is a reliable supplier with low production costs. “We have guarantees from Volkswagen that when the market fluctuates, the fluctuations will not be reflected in Vrchlabí,” he said.

Roughly 40 percent of gearboxes from Vrchlabí end up in Škoda Auto models, the rest are used by other Volkswagen Group brands in eight plants in Europe, India, South Africa and the USA.

The maximum daily production capacity of the Vrchlab plant remained at almost 2,300 gearboxes, while the weekly production capacity increased from 11,700 pieces to the current 15,000 pieces, i.e. by 28 percent. The increase in the plant’s performance represents the production of approximately 140,000 additional gearboxes in annual terms. By the end of September, the plant had produced over 510,000 gearboxes.

The new workers were partly recruited by the plant from among the car company’s employees at the Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny plants and through an agency. Some of them were also workers from Poland. The largest number of new workers found employment in mechanical machining and assembly of gearboxes.

In addition to accepting new people and their demanding training within three to four months, the plant also had to solve logistics. Almost a third of the need for production parts for a seven-day working week must be delivered to the plant in the original five working days. The current tempering plant could no longer handle the need for hardening a larger number of parts, so the plant has part of the parts hardened at the plant in Mladá Boleslav.

The plant started production of the DQ 200 automatic dual-clutch transmission after a complete reconstruction and expansion in October 2012. Investments in new halls and the introduction of transmission production reached 6.5 billion crowns. By the beginning of October this year, the plant had produced five million gearboxes.

The head of the car company’s union, Jaroslav Povšík, told Deník E15 in July that the future of the Vrchlabí plant is unclear. “Gearboxes will be produced until 2035, but not necessarily in the Czech Republic, because fewer and fewer of them will be produced,” said Povšík. In response, the automaker stated that it plans to produce electric cars or components at all three plants in the Czech Republic in the future, and that it has a long-term strategy for each plant and its employees.

Worldwide sales of the Škoda Auto car company increased by 17.9 percent year-on-year to 642,200 vehicles from January to September. The automaker operates three production plants in the Czech Republic, has production capacities in China, Slovakia and India, mostly through group partnerships, and also in Ukraine in cooperation with a local partner.