Skoda Auto halts production at Czech site after floods in Slovenia

Skoda Auto halts production at Czech site after floods in Slovenia
Skoda Auto's Mlada Boleslav plant could also suspend production. / bne IntelliNews
By Albin Sybera in Ljubljana September 11, 2023

Skoda Auto announced it is halting production at one of its sites in Czechia due to missing components from its Slovenian suppliers, which have been affected by the devastating August floods.

The halt will affect the Volkswagen-owned carmaker’s site in Kvasiny and possibly the main plant at the company’s headquarters in Mlada Boleslav for at least a week starting Monday, September 11.

“Skoda Auto can confirm that floods in Slovenia affected subcontractors supplying components for combustion engines of Skoda’s models as well as for other brands from the [Volkswagen] concern,” Skoda’s Ivana Povolna told Czech Press Agency (CTK) on Friday, September 8. She added that supplies come only “on a limited scale”.

Skoda representatives did not want to comment on specific figures or models, and Skoda’s Jaroslav Povsik said that production of all models except for fully electric Enyaq is affected.

Povsik told CTK that the situation could improve during the week of September 18-25. The carmaker wants to keep as many workers in production as possible and it is also testing suppliers from China.

Slovene media identified the supplier as KLS Ljubno, a company of 260 employees whose technology was severely damaged during the flooding which swept the country during the first weekend in August.

As bne Intellinews reported, flood damages to KLS Ljubno already led to the halting of production at Volkswagen’s plant in Portugal at the end of August. KLS Ljubno’s CEO Mirko Strasek told media then that further production disruptions are likely, with company’s supplying capabilities curtailed.   

“From August 4 onwards, we are not producing anything. We won’t be able to produce anything in September or in October. We wish we will start at the beginning of November,” Strasek was quoted as saying by the Slovene public broadcaster RTV Slovenija on August 30.

Volkswagen’s Dirk Grosse-Lohedie told media that the company won’t severe ties with KLS Ljubno, describing it as “an excellent supplier which we would like to keep”.

Slovenia is an important auto component hub, and no European car is manufactured without incorporating at least one component originating from Slovenia. The country is supplying components to brands ranging from Rolls Royse and Bugatti to Volkswagen’s Porsche, Skoda and Seat.

The automotive industry in Slovenia employs over 16,000 in a country with a total population of just over two million.  

Czechia’s Toyota plant in Kolin is also experiencing a supply disruption, which led to a halt in production after Novares CZ Zebrak’s site was damaged by fire in August. The halt is now expected to last until September 15.