Škoda Auto to avoid layoffs as Euro 7 postponement likely

The starting date for the EU's stricter emission standards will likely be delayed, as eight countries oppose the current plan.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.05.2023 09:42:00 (updated on 30.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Thanks to the expected postponement of the starting date of the Euro 7 emission standard, the Czech carmaker Škoda Auto will not have to close one production hall or lay off 3,000 people, as it previously announced. If the Euro 7 standard started in mid-2025, as originally planned, the company would have had to stop producing the Fabia, Scala, and Kamiq models.

Martin Jahn, Škoda Auto's board of directors member for sales and marketing, told news server E15 that the European Commission and EU member states now see the original date as unrealistic.

"We are now discussing the length of the delay from the moment of approval, it could be two to five years. If this happens, we will not close any production capacities, we will not lay off anyone, and the production of the models in this context, we will not terminate prematurely," he said.

Small cars would not be affordable

Škoda Auto previously said that introducing the standard will increase the price of smaller cars so much that it would be unacceptable for customers. The price of small models would start at CZK 450,000.

The rapid introduction of a stricter emission standard would also be felt by other companies producing cars in Czechia. Of the 1.2 million vehicles produced annually, it would not be possible to produce 300,000 to 400,000 smaller and more affordable cars after the adoption of the original Euro 7 variant, the Czech Automotive Industry Association (SAP) previously said.

Euro 7 is intended to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and solid particles released into the air, not only from exhausts but also from brakes and tires. In addition, the cars should have sensors that allow emissions to be checked at any time.

Eight countries want to change the Euro 7 proposal

Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, oppose the earlier version of Euro 7, which was proposed by the European Commission. Together, they hold a blocking minority, so if they voted against the introduction of the standard, it would not pass.

"If the standard were approved according to the proposal of these eight countries, Škoda would have enough time to prepare," Jahn said. New cars with internal combustion engines will still become more expensive before they are replaced by electric cars in the medium term, E15 reported.  

Like most other manufacturers, Škoda plans to stop making cars with internal combustion engines, but it will be able to slow the transition compared to the original plan.

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