Volkswagen will be adding a third production shift beginning April 16, generating at least 650 new jobs, at its facility in Slovakia in order to increase production of three new minicars, Volkswagen Slovakia board member Wilfried von Rath has revealed. He added that "hundreds more" jobs will be generated by its suppliers.
The output of the automaker's so-called "New Small Family" of models started at its factory near Bratislava in the second half of 2011 together with the production of the Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii and VW Up, all of which started sales last year.
In the following years, VW will extend this subcompact family range to include a wide array of vehicles from a coupe to a minivan. Vehicles in this subcompact family share a single platform. A decontented version is intended for emerging markets. Volkswagen is one of the top three exporters in Slovakia. It produces the Touareg and Audi Q7 SUVs.
It also manufactures the Porsche Cayenne bodykits at the facility. SUV production at the plant is anticipated to increase 25% this year. The automaker anticipates production at the plant to hit the 400,000 mark this year, an increase from 280,000 the year before.
The New Small Family lineup will be vital to VW's strategy while it intends to outperform GM as the bestselling vehicle maker in the world by 2018. In 2011, VW Group achieved sales of 8.16 million vehicles, second only to GM with 9.03 million.
Volkswagen first launched the wholly redesigned Touareg at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The Touareg holds the distinction of being the most technologically innovative Volkswagen vehicle ever.
This Volkswagen Touareg seeks to redefine the multipurpose SUV in a modern way, largely due to the wide array of engines that gives you close to 20% more fuel savings, as well as the wide selection of new safety and assistance systems. The Touareg is the only off-roader that will have a hybrid model in Europe that is manufactured by a German automaker.
With a fuel efficiency of 8.2 liters for every 100 kilometers, the new Touareg sets the standards among off-road SUVs that have petrol engines. The Touareg Hybrid reaches speeds of 50 km/h using only the electric mode, while the diesel engine on the Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI with its fuel consumption of only 7.4 litre has the best value among other cars in the same segment. Both the Touareg V6 TDI and Hybrid are now the most fuel saving diesel and petrol SUVs in Europe.
Lighter, fuel efficient, and aerodynamic
With the new Touareg, the German carmaker is striving to replicate its success with the Tiguan. The new SUV is now 208 kg lighter but the body is 5% stronger, easily making it the SUV to beat in a very competitive market. It is also more aerodynamic with a better Cd value. The new Touareg is also more road hugging than its predecessor. These elements work with the new smaller front end design that follows the carmaker’s design DNA. Finally, all engines are now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and have better fuel efficiency than the previous Touareg, reaching up to two liters per 100 kilometers of savings.
Two versions of all-wheel drive
To get better fuel efficiency, the all-wheel drive was also changed. In the basic 4Motion version, the new Touareg has an all-wheel drive that has Torsen limited slip differential with a climbing ability of 31 degrees. It also features the off-road driving programme that you see on the Track & Field version of the Tiguan. The feature automatically tunes the EDS, ASR and ABS to conquer off-road trails with just a touch of a button, as well as engages the Hill Descent Assist and modifies the automatic points on the gearshift.