Daily: Licence plate monopoly appears to be at an end
The days of one company producing licence plates for motorists in the Czech Republic are, in all likelihood, at and end, news site Lidovky.cz reported on Tuesday (the online version of Lidové noviny). Since the 1990s, the site reports, license plates (informally referred to as espézetky in Czech) were the domain of Hicon.
It took the ministry three tries to find a new supplier but three times is apparently the charm; the head of SPM Systems Zdeněk Kůstka confirmed that SPM finished first in a tender held this Spring. Transport Minister Dan Ťok confirmed the company had offered the lowest price, just shy of 24 million crowns (around 888,000 euros) per half a year. During that time, the company has pledged to stamp some 527,725 plates. As a result the firm should snag a contract good for four years. The Transport Ministry had counted at the start with a price no higher than 36.5 million crowns, which would have amounted to 290 million over four years, but all of the firms that competed in the tender bid less. Long-term provider Hicon did not take part.
The news site noted that after two previous attempts failed to choose a new supplier, the ministry now could not afford to “fail”. The second tender last summer collapsed due to problems with the submission: the conditions on bidders were described as too tough and three of six interested firms withdrew.