Car production in the Czech Republic increased by eight percent in 2016 compared to the previous year to a record figure of 1.344 million cars, the president of the Automotive Industry Association Bohdan Wojnar announced at a press conference on Tuesday. Production increases were recorded by all three of the Czech Republic’s major car production companies.
Photo: Marián Birošík, Public DomainThe biggest producer, Škoda Auto last year recorded the highest increase in production, by 12.5 percent, to 765,171 cars. The Hyundai plant in Nošovice, Moravia, increased its production by five percent to 358,400 and Kolín-based joint venture TPCA boosted its output by less than one percent to 220,611.
Mr. Wojnar warned though that both Škoda Auto and Hyundai car producers have started to reach the ceilings of their production capacities with a maximum number of shifts operating and problems developing with supplies from sub-contractors.
Exports of Czech car producers increased last year by 8.6 percent to 1.6 million vehicles, while domestic sales rose by four percent to 104,163 vehicles.
“We are not expecting the fast rate of growth to continue in the future. It will be difficult to exceed that eight percent,” Mr Wojnar said. According to him, the increase in production could reach about five percent this year. Besides production limits, the rate of growth will also depend on the situation on various markets.
The country’s truck production, represented by Tatra Kopřivnice, increase last year by 56 percent to 1,326 lorries, while production of buses dropped by three percent to 4,388. The highest production was recorded by Iveco Bus with 3,885 vehicles, followed by SOR with 454 buses and KH Motor Centrum with 49 buses. Motorcycle producer Jawa Moto recorded a drop in output by 29 percent to 1,228 pieces.
In terms of car production relative to the size of the country’s population, neighbouring Slovakia remains the world’s largest car producer, currently manufacturing 191 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, and is considerably ahead of the Czech Republic in these terms.
Car production in Slovakia also reached a record figure last year, with the country’s three major car makers, Kia Motors, Peugeot Citroën and Volkswagen manufacturing 1.04 million cars.
The Tatra Buggyra Racing team successfully finished the difficult Dakar Rally and Buenos Aires was reached by both crews, Aleš Loprais, Jan Tománek and Jiří Stross, and Martin Kolomý, René Kilian and David Kilian. In addition Loprais adds to his racing account the status of the best Czech of the thirty ninth edition of the famous competition.
The rally was not easy for the Czech team. Despite that Martin Kolomý achieved his second stage victory in career, winning the very first stage and taking the lead. If it were not for the three-minute penalisation for exceeded speed limit in the connecting section he would have returned to the lead after stage three again. Aleš Loprais was in the top 10 four times and if it were not for the loss caused by servo pump replacements he would have been among the top eight before the rest day. However, there is no “if” in sport. “Feelings? Certainly relief and happiness that we are here. The first half of the race was a purgatory. It was certainly one of the most difficult Dakar Rally competitions I have lived through here. The latter half was nice. To get from fourteenth to seventh rank is more than success for us, kind of satisfaction after the problems we had. I would like to thank god, my team, my family and sponsors for helping me push it all the way to here,“ said Aleš Loprais with satisfaction in the finish of the last stage. And the opinion of this Dakar from navigator Jan Tománek? “Of course one of the most successful of all, for to get to top ten, and after such problems, is a success indeed. Pity the stages were shortened so much after we eliminated the technical issues. We were thus deprived of the possibility to move even higher up. But the seventh overall rank is super and every time you reach the finish counts.“ The crew of Martin Kolomý again showed their speed and quality confirming to belong to the narrow world elite in the truck category. “This edition was very interesting for us. We had a lot of technical issues to resolve, there were the cancelled stages, nothing easy. But we have both trucks in the finish. That has proven again that Tatra is a good truck and that we can always succeed in putting it together. I thought I would be better off with the new truck. Of course I expected some child diseases but I regret they extended our time on the road so much. But I am glad we are here and we are all right,” said Martin Kolomý after reaching the finish. “Dakar 2017 is over. Unfortunately, the ranking is not what we had wished it to be. But the main thing is we have finished the race, and that counts too. We could not wipe off the loss we had developed due to the weather and the poorly organised logistics of the route. Of course this was the same for everybody, but for me this was the worst Dakar of all,“ said David Kilian. Successful was also the participation of the drive units of Gyrtech produced by the Buggyra Technology Center. All trucks driven by Gyrtech finished 39th Dakar Rally. The make has the highest representation in the top fifteen, a whole third.
Dakar 2017 has just become a matter of history…
We send greetings to all fans of our team. I’m glad that we managed to curb the nerves and finished the today’s stage in calm. Although the emotions of some teams escalated in the today’s short stage, needless to say that it was unnecessary. We announce that the only thing that awaits us is the ceremonial ramp in Buenos Aires, after that the last night in the bivouac and on Sunday, packaging and transport of the equipment to the port. The mission will be concluded by a little tiring plane trip home, to which we incredibly look forward to.
Considering that what we encountered at this year’s rally in the form of technical problems, we are extremely satisfied with the result. Having advanced from 14th place to 7th place overall is a beautiful satisfaction for us.
I would like to thank all the fans for their support, for a lot of SMS messages, emails and various comments. We read everything but did not manage to respond to all. We’ll try to fix it. Thanks also belong to the family and my main partners, which include InstaForex, Budweiser Budvar, Go4Games, Chládek and Tintěra, Interflon as well as the entire Tatra Buggyra team for the opportunity to participate in this indescribable adventure.
In Today’s last stage of the 2017 Dakar, finishing in Buenos Aires, Kolomy finished 13th and Loprais 14th
Only temporary results are known at the moment but Loprais managed 7th, behind a bunch of Iveco and Kamaz trucks occupying the top spot with a magnificent role of local hero Villagra who battled it out with Nikolaev, Nikolaev winning the stage by a whisker.
Martin Kolomy is still in the race, but lost 3,5 hours due to mechanical troubles yesterday
The second long stage…
This year’s second long stage is behind us. It was not perfect, moreover, it was again divided by neutralization zone, which I do not like, but this time it helped us, because we had to change the wheel in its course. Fortunately, we managed everything in time and we could jump into the second part. But again, nothing was easy. We hit a stone and the power steering pump hose burst. We could not turn the wheel again, we had to stop and repair. On top of that, about 100 kilometres before the finish, after a decent jump, oil leaked from the rear shock absorbers, so we really enjoyed the ride. However, we retained the fifth place in the stage, which is under these conditions a decent result. The track was challenging and quite broken and we are pleased that the technology survived. Tomorrow we will start from the fifth place, which is certainly a better position than today. Unfortunately, there is only the tomorrow’s stage, which may allow for something to happen.
Today’s 11th stage from SAN JUAN to RIO CUARTO in the entire length of 754 km, of which 288 km measured. In the first 50 km we expect dunes and even the further kilometres will be interesting because they will be driven in places of the Argentinean part of the World Championship Rally.