In this week’s Business News: Škoda Auto to remain in luxury range; government turns off funding for solar power; central bank fines major high street bank for misleading customers; steelmakers see slow recovery; and work time increases for employees.
Škoda Auto says will be follow up for Superb
Leading Czech carmaker Škoda Auto is going to stay in the luxury car market when its current top of the range model, the Superb, is phased out. Company managers say that a replacement model will be lined up within five years. The auto trade press had speculated that there would be no follow-up model at all, or just a downmarket version of the Superb for taxi fleets. That speculation had been fuelled by criticism from Škoda Auto’s parent company, Volkswagen, that sales of the Czech car was eating into the market for its own models.
Government puts roof on solar power support
ČSOB fined for misleading post office customers
Steelmakers see slow recovery from crisis
Czech steelmakers have predicted a slow climb out of the crisis that cut production by a fifth last year. The head of the Association of Foundries said this week that he expects annual production growth of around 5.0 percent over the coming years, with a return to pre-crisis levels of output in five to six years. On the upside, he said that the crisis had taught the surviving companies to cut costs, be more flexible and find new markets. Germany is still the biggest market though, taking around 80 percent of Czech steel production.
Working day extends for employees
Most Czech employees are working longer hours according to the national statistics office. The number of workers regularly putting in less than 40 hours a week fell by around a quarter of a million between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2010. But those putting in more than 40 hours rose by around 120,000 over the period. The trend for businessmen was in the opposite direction with more working shorter hours. The statistics office said young people starting up part time businesses in parallel with other work partly explained that figure.