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VW's Skoda unions object to renewed talks on production moves

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By Reuters
VW's Skoda unions object to renewed talks on production moves
FILE PHOTO: A Skoda logo is pictured during the Volkswagen Group's annual general meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt   -   Copyright  Axel Schmidt(Reuters)

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Trade unions at Volkswagen’s <VOWG_p.DE> Czech unit Skoda Auto on Thursday rejected any ideas of moving some of the production of its premium sedan model Superb to German plants.

In a statement, the unions said discussions over the issue of shifting some production to VW’s Emden plant had started again within the parent company’s management.

“The (unions) committee categorically rejected the possibility of moving Superb car production to another location outside the Czech Republic,” the unions said in a statement in their weekly newsletter, published on their website.

Neither VW nor Skoda were immediately available to comment.

The German car group has been looking at ways to boost production at its Czech carmaker to keep up with robust demand.

Once the butt of jokes, Skoda has flourished under nearly 30 years of VW ownership to become one of its profit drivers, even beating luxury brand Audi’s <NSUG.DE> and BMW’s <BMWG.DE> operating margins last year.

A VW labour official told Reuters in June that further steps would be needed to boost output at Skoda, even though some production is already being shifted to Germany to relieve its stretched Czech factories.

In Thursday’s statement, Skoda union leader Jaroslav Povsik said the Superb is a flagship model and “part of our DNA”.

“We have to find a solution to fight for Superb, which is important for all of us,” Povsik said. “It creates profit that we would miss.”

(Reporting by Robert Muller, editing by David Evans)