Bloomberg News

Volkswagen to Almost Double Output at Slovak Plant on New Model

March 13, 2012

Volkswagen AG (VOW) is keeping to its target of almost doubling production at its Slovak factory to more than 400,000 vehicles as new models will outweigh the euro- area slowdown, the unit’s Chief Executive Albrecht Reimold said.

The factory in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, assembled 210,441 cars last year, compared with 144,510 in 2010, Reimold told reporters today. Sport-utility vehicles such as Volkswagen Touareg accounted for 93 percent of shipments.

Europe’s largest carmaker is boosting output in Slovakia, seeking to benefit from the country’s euro adoption combined with lower labor costs than in western Europe. The planned increase in volume is due mainly to new sub-compact models, whose serial production started in Bratislava in the second half of 2011.

“We will stick to our goal,” Reimold said today. “I am absolutely sure that we achieve it.”

European car sales dropped an annual 6.1 percent in January to 1 million vehicles, led by Renault SA (RNO), Fiat SpA (F) and PSA Peugeot Citroen, because consumers bought less as the euro- region’s economy shrank, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Volkswagen’s European sales declined 1 percent.

Volkswagen in Bratislava also makes Audi-brand Q7 SUVs and bodies for Porsche Cayenne. Last year it started to produce exclusively in Bratislava the so-called New Small Family line of cars, made for Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda brands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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