The company sees similarities between the Czech and Italian operators, and aims to bring self-driving trams to Italian cities.
Škoda Group opened the office of its new subsidiary in Florence, Italy. With this move, the largest Czech manufacturer of vehicles for public transport strengthens its position on the international market. Olesea Lachi, who has long been responsible for sales of rolling stock in the Group, has become the managing director of the subsidiary.
The news has been made public during a day of roundtable, opinions, studies, experiences, and specific programmes on the future of mobility gathered among needs, urban limits, combined strategies, and future projects. Discussions were held on how to sustainably improve the vitality of historic cities such as Tuscany, which characterise Italy in a distinctive way.
The tram route appears to be a throwback to the past, but instead is a modern and efficient infrastructure and a symbolic example of virtual mobility. In the city of the future, according to Škoda Group, the tram is self-driving and runs completely safely thanks to the latest technology. Soon, battery-powered vehicles that are not only environmentally friendly and sustainable, but also able to move more quickly in historic centres with narrow streets, will be more common in cities. After all, the Tuscan capital has to reckon with the duo of beauty/sustainability, as it is a UNESCO heritage site and has recently been shortlisted for the nine Italian capitals that aim to be ‘zero-emission’ or climate neutral by 2030.
In Italy, Škoda Group will focus its attention on train transport and rolling stock for urban transport. It will offer its partners a comprehensive solution – from the manufacture of individual components to the delivery of complete vehicles and their subsequent maintenance. By making a similar decision in the past, Škoda Group has successfully entered the German or Finnish market, which has enabled it to be more within reach of its clients and to develop its business in these areas in a fundamental way.
Škoda Group has already worked on several orders for Italian customers in the past. Its trolleybuses can be seen in Bologna or Cagliari, where the Group has also supplied trams. Passengers can take electric units for a ride in Domodossola. Italy is thus one of the fifty countries where Škoda has delivered its products.
"The specifics, preferences and habits of Italian operators are like the Czech ones. Many cities in both countries are UNESCO heritage sites and offer stunning historic centres characterised by narrow streets, arches with small, curved radius, which place higher demands on vehicle manufacturers. Medium-sized cities have a long tradition of trolleybus transport, but often have to cross several sections without catenary. The countries are also linked by their focus on the Green Deal and sustainable mobility solutions. All this together makes the Škoda Group particularly focused on the Italian market" said Olesea Lachi, Managing Director of Škoda Group's Italian subsidiary.