ONCE upon a time, in pre-1989 Czechoslovakia, those who wanted to buy a car had two choices: they could go to Mototechna or to Tuzex. While the latter was reserved for those with hard currency in their pockets, i.e. US dollars or West German marks, the Mototechna car dealerships were for ordinary people, who often had to wait years to fulfil their dream of owning a car. After the fall of the communist regime and the arrival of a market economy, both Mototechna and Tuzex disappeared and car dealers mushroomed. Nowadays money is the only requirement when it comes to buying a car in Slovakia.
However, a wave of nostalgia has now brought Mototechna back, albeit in a slightly different form. In mid January, a group of used car dealers, AAA Auto, opened the first Slovak arm of the re-born Mototechna. AAA already operates successful Mototechna outlets in the Czech Republic.
“During the first phase Mototechna in Slovakia will offer 150 used cars,” Karolína Topolová, AAA’s general director said, as quoted in a company press release, adding that other Mototechna outlets will open in Žilina, Nitra, Košice and other Slovak towns, depending on the market. Mototechna will sell used, but low-mileage (up to 30,000km), cars in good condition and of up to two years in age.
The aim of AAA is to use the Mototechna trademark, which dates back more than 60 years, to unify its sales of used cars, spare parts and maintenance services.
“We believe that Mototechna still has a good reputation,” Topolová said. “We want to continue its tradition and what it used to do well.”
The original Mototechna was launched in the early 1950s in Czechoslovakia. It operated as the monopoly state seller of passenger cars, motorcycles and spare parts, during a period (i.e. before 1989) when obtaining a car involved, apart from a cash payment, an enormous test of endurance.
4. Feb 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff