VW Group may raise output of Slovakian plant to 400,000 units this year

Article by Anita Panait, on March 14, 2012

Volkswagen Group is eyeing to boost the production target for its Bratislava, Slovakia plant to 400,000 vehicles in 2012, as the German carmaker aims to increase the output of the new VW Up minicar despite the current economic crisis in Europe, according to the unit’s chief executive Albrecht Reimold. He said that the plant built 210,441 and 144,510 vehicles in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The plant is currently home to VW’s sports utility vehicle models like Volkswagen Touareg and sister model, the Audi Q7, both of which accounted for 93% of shipments.

The addition of VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars in the production lines will increase the output of the plant to around 400,000 units this year. Reimold said that the serial production of the sister models commenced in the Bratislava site in the second half of 2011. VW aims to save costs by shifting the production of some of its models to Slovakia, which recently adopted the Euro and offers lower labour costs than in Western Europe. 

Reimold expressed complete confidence that the plant could achieve the production target. Europe is still a weak market for carmakers due to the current financial crisis in the continent. In January, car sales in Europe dipped six percent to 1 million vehicles as there’s low consumer spending in the region, according to industry association ACEA. VW’s Europe sales also suffered a drop of one percent in January.

With the official unveiling of the new Volkswagen Scirocco, the brand hopes that it will be able to show the world its latest design principle. The brand added that it also intends to reveal to its many customers the new face that the many models, coming from different segments, will eventually have.

Particularly, the design DNA focuses on its horizontal structure and placement. One highlight is the way the upper portion of the radiator grille has those unbroken chrome trim strips. This same region has a high-gloss trim in black. Further, the brand made sure that in terms of visuals, the headlights would appear to be integrated to the grille. Another key element is the bumper’s middle level that has the same color as that of the body.

Finally, on the third level there is the lower air inlet that comes in a U-shape and is bordered with a chrome trim. Another model whose dynamics had been enhanced by Volkswagen is the Touareg. However, this change is not limited to the engine but also involves the appearance.

It has been given a new style and comes with more athletic proportions. This was not by chance as the design team wanted the VW Touareg to fully utilize the new design DNA of the brand and this has resulted in the model having a more elegant look. It’s actually not surprising as the design team itself was led by Klaus Bischoff.

This is seen in how the front end is now more aligned horizontally with that of its unique headlights. The same treatment has long been done for the rear end and the night-time light design, a signature look of the Touareg. This gives the model that sporty and lean body. It is no wonder why as an SUV the Touareg has an excellent visual effect that is combined with a timeless design.

The overall result is that the Touareg gives a strong qualitative statement as it manages to exhibit dynamic presence and proportions while ensuring that the style and elegance continue to be reserved. For the Touareg, the design team also wanted a model that would have superior qualities and is unique in almost every aspect giving it a more independent presence.

Meaning it should be easy to recognize as a Volkswagen and drivers would also be able to know at once that it is a Touareg. This is something that many automakers today take for granted, considering that compared to any other time period in automotive history, today is when there are a number of various segments or vehicle models. Because of its appeal and the fact that is a unique design, it is able to stand apart from the rest.

It also continues the brand’s sustainability theme especially with how visually equipped it is and shows more elegance while holding a little something back. Of course, this is why the new design DNA of the brand follows a face that is more aligned horizontally in addition to having a body that is more extended and at the same time, leaner.

Topics: vw, production

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