The German carmaker BMW has asked for a major investment incentive from the Czech Republic in connection with a test centre for electric and self-driving cars in Sokolov, in the region of Karlovy Vary.
In all, it is hoping to receive some 480 million Czech crowns, the equivalent of 18.75 million euros, Czech Radio reported. The broadcaster cited material to be discussed by the government. BMW is itself ready to invest some 250 million euros (or 6.35 billion crowns) into the testing site.
According to sources, the test centre, featuring both track and technical equipment on a total area of around 525 hectares, will provide hundreds of new jobs. In asking for incentives, BMW could receive support of up to 10 percent of recognised costs for tax reduction purposes, financial support for retraining or requalification of new employees.
The government is expected to sign a memorandum on strategic cooperation. Part of the deal is that BMW is to receive a building permit in the last quarter of 2019 and for the test centre to be operational, at the latest, by 2022.
Under the agreement, BMW will also have to ensure it will complete the acquisition of land in the area from current owners by December 31 of this year.
The site is largely on the area of a former brown coal mine facility.