Vw doubles output at its Slovak plant

Article by Christian A., on March 22, 2013

In 2012, Volkswagen had doubled the volume of the cars being produced at the Slovak plant to record figures as the launch of the new Up minicar and its Skoda and Seat siblings made up for the sluggish demand for vehicles throughout Europe. The unit's chief Albrecht Reimold told reporters that the Bratislava factory produced 419,888 vehicles, compared with 210,441 units in 2011.

The Up and its sister models, the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, made up nearly one-half of production. Furthermore, Bratislava assembles the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 SUVs, as well as the bodies for the Porsche Cayenne.

According to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber, the British ultraluxury brand's new SU, which will use the same platform as the one used with the Touareg, Q7 and Cayenne, may be manufactured at the Slovak factory. Reimold said that the plant will aim to maintain the record production volume, depending on the conditions in the market.

He said that last year, the company operated on the boundary of its production capacities. He said that the global market is “developing positively” and that it has had a good performance to date this year. Over a third of SUVs built in Slovakia were sent to non-European markets, led by China and the U.S.

The exports outside Europe help Volkswagen to offset the declining sales in the region. JATO Dynamics revealed information that VW brand's Up was the top-selling model of the group's three minicars in 2012 with sales of 113,662 units. Skoda sold 27,660 units of the Citigo while Seat's Mii reported sales of 18,810 in the same period.

Not only has Volkswagen made the new VW Touareg weigh less, have better fuel economy, and perform with greater agility; it also has created an all-around automobile with even greater versatility. The all-new interior has more functionality, the seats offer more comfort, and the rear leg room is bigger. The rear bench seat now has 160 mm in longitude adjustment, and the backrest’s angle is also adjustable. With the optional push of a button for electronic opening, it only takes seconds to fold down and to free up 1,642 L of cargo room. The basic version already comes standard with a radio-CD and infotainment system that has intuitive control through its 6.5-inch touch-screen.

A push button now activates the parking brake. At traffic lights, the V6 engine iteration automatically turns off and restarts when the brake is released by the driver (Stop-Start system). Another option is the RF remote control that can be integrated into the key to open and close the tailgate. The biggest panoramic sunroof available in any SUV offers lighting even during the most overcast of days. The state-of-the-art area view uses four cameras to determine the Touareg's environs, which definitely raises standards.

Nine air bags also offer protection. The lane assist makes sure the car will not veer off its correct path, and, during lane changes, the side assist cautions when there are other vehicles advancing from the rear. Front assist is integrated into the adaptive cruise control (ACC) so the car can brake to a complete stop for emergencies and can make seatbelts tensed as a safety measure.

The dynamic light assist with the bi-xenon headlamps can sense oncoming vehicles and reset the lights to get rid of undesirable glare, and adaptive roll compensation makes sure that the Touareg stands sturdily on the road. This is the first time that there will be unique features for the new Touareg under the new Volkswagen Individual "Exclusive" badge. These options include 19” alloy wheels (Girona), fine wood inserts (Olive Ash), and leather for the interior (Nappa) in the two different colour combinations: Dark Burgundy and Titan Black or Pepper Beige and Titan Black.

Topics: vw, production

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