In Business News this week: Škoda Auto says it is on track to produce 1.5 million cars annually by 2018; roughly four out of 10 Czechs say they would move for work; Prague hotels are expecting occupancy rates to jump; millions of extra 500 crown notes are being printed by the central bank.
Czech carmaker Škoda Auto has reacted to an estimate by IHS Automotive which questioned the manufacturer’s ability to produce 1.5 million vehicles annually by 2018. According to the research firm, Škoda’s production within four years will climb to only 1.16 million. Škoda’s spokesman downplayed the estimate, saying that the carmaker’s growth strategy was well laid-out and that there was no reason to make changes. This week at the Geneva Motor Show, Škoda unveiled a study entitled VisionC, outlining dynamic design changes to existing models.
Just over four out of 10 Czechs say they are willing to move to find a job according to a survey by the STEM MARK agency. Broken down, just over half of the 45 percent of respondents willing to move said they were prepared to seek jobs in Europe or the rest of the world. But around 44 percent said they would only move within the Czech Republic. In reality, only about one Czech in six actually moves to find work.
Prague hotels are expected to enjoy a rise in their occupancy rate this year thanks in part to the weaker Czech crown. Three to five star hotels were around 70 percent full in 2013 after rebounding from the worst of the recession, market researchers Labartt Hospitality reported this week. And that is expected to improve again in 2014. Room prices in the Czech capital slipped by around 1.6 percent in 2013 but they are set to rise again this year, it added.
Several hundred shoppers jostled to get into a new shopping gallery which opened this week in the Florentinum office building in the Prague city centre. The pasáž or passageway, as condensed first-floor shopping galleries are sometimes referred to, features 20 shops including a supermarket, watch seller, a vintage wine seller, pharmacy and other venues. The Florentinum, which also features an office complex, is the first domestic real estate project by investment group Penta. The building cost roughly 160 million euros or 4.4 billion crowns.
And finally, the 500 crown note portraying Božena Němcová is enjoying a boom. It’s not so much enthusiasm for the 19th century Czech writer but changes in note distribution from its 1,500 cash machines pushed through by one of the country’s biggest banks, Česká Spořitelna. The 500 note was previously absent from the withdrawal options but has now been added and users allowed to choose their note combinations. As a result, the central bank had to print several million extra 500 notes.