PSA/Peugeot-Citroen stopped car production in Slovakia on Jan. 28, 2013, as part of its efforts to cope with weak vehicle demand in Europe. The French carmaker will also halt production for four days in February 2013, according to its Slovak unit that operates an assembly plant in Trnava, Slovakia. The Trnava plant builds the Peugeot 207 and Citroen C3 Picasso models.
PSA expects its 2013 vehicle output in Slovakia to surpass the nearly 215,000 units produced last year. PSA’s Trnava plant could produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually. With regards to the production stoppage at its Trnava plant, PSA Slovakia said that demand for new cars in Europe is continuously falling, thereby forcing several carmakers in the continent to induce production cuts.
Since Slovakia’s automotive industry is centered around the assembly plants of Volkswagen, Kia and PSA, any disruption could significantly affect the eurozone country’s economic performance. Slovakia’s finance ministry expects the economy’s growth to slow down to 2.1 percent in 2013 from 2.5 percent 2012 due to declining demand for its exports.
PSA, as well as other volume carmakers in Europe, has been suffering from dwindling sales in the region, no thanks to the current debt crisis in the continent. To ensure its survival, PSA plans to reduce its workforce by 10,000 jobs and shut down a plant in France. In 2012, PSA posted a 12.9-percent drop in deliveries in EU and EFTA countries to 1.46 million cars, performing worse than the market that fell 7.8 percent to 12.5 million vehicles, according to data from the industry organization ACEA.