Skoda Enters Smart Car Tech Race in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Škoda Auto plant in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. (Zdeněk Fiedler)

Skoda Auto has laid plans for acquiring smart car technology in Israel to integrate into its own systems, Globes reported on Thursday.

The Digilab division of Skoda Auto, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding for opening an office in Israel in cooperation with Champion Motors, the importer of Volkwagen group brands to Israel. The office will be Skoda’s vehicle for finding technologies and investment opportunities in the country.

Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said, “Israel is a high-profile source of digital innovation. Having a presence in Israel and direct access to innovative projects, high-tech startups, and IT talents is of great importance to Skoda Auto. In this way, we are convinced that we can apply the region’s creative ecosystem and expertise in digital development to important projects. Skoda Auto’s current focus is on areas such as speed testing, creating prototypes, and assimilating digital technology.”

The official purpose of the office is to “develop an ongoing dialogue with regional leaders in the IT scene, and with companies and universities. The focus is on work with Israel startups that have achieved a certain degree of maturity. Innovative projects will be spotted in the early stages, and new business models for Skoda Auto can be developed from them.”

The new office is part of a larger trend of investment in Israel over the past two years by a number of major auto manufacturers, including Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Volvo, Honda, and Porsche.