"The quality of our products is about the same as other companies, but we have a little bit lower prices."
Daniel Roth, General Director, Tesla Stropkov
"Tesla Stropkov was one of the chosen suppliers, because it has fulfilled all of the requirements that SPT Telecom had," said Dana Dvoráková, the spokeswoman for SPT Telecom. Tesla will be one of three suppliers to SPT; the other two are the German firm Siemens and the Czech company WT Prague.
In August, it looked different for Tesla. SPT Telecom said that Tesla would not be a supplier, prompting Tesla's management to announce the lost contract would force the company to lay off 400 of its total workforce of 1,500. The news hit Stropkov hard, as the area, located in eastern Slovakia, is wrestling with unemployment between 16-18 percent.
"Tesla finally got a piece of this tender," said a relieved Roth. "And that has happened due to its long, traditional and serious position on the Czech market." Tesla has been a supplier to SPT Telecom and the Czech market since 1992. Roth argued that the firm eventually won out because of its quality. "The quality of our products is about the same as other companies, but we have a little bit lower prices." He would not specify how much lower, but added that they are "sufficiently low for us to be a competitor with Siemens."
Despite being awarded a part of the tender, Tesla had hoped to secure a contract to supply 600,000 phones. To make up the gap, Roth said Tesla is seeking out new markets. "Tesla is looking for new markets in the south, and that means Hungary, and northern Europe," he said. "We are not looking at eastern markets, because the prices there are much lower."
The firm is already in the second round of a tender to supply more than 100,000 telephone devices for Hungarian Telecom, Roth said, along with Siemens and another telecommunications company that he would not specify.
Tesla had 427 million Sk in sales in 1996, which was a 10 percent annual increase, and a gross income of 8.4 million Sk, Roth said. Also in 1996, Tesla exported goods worth 208 million Sk, of which 158 million Sk, or 75 percent of total output, went to the Czech Republic.
SPT Telecom is a joint-stock company in which the Czech National Property Fund has a 51 percent share, 27 percent is held by PPT Telecom Netherlands and Swiss Telecom, 20.2 percent is held by individual shareholders, and the rest by the state Restitution Investment Fund.
9. Oct 1997 at 0:00 | Andrea Lörinczová