The euro-area slowdown won’t prevent the Volkswagen Group from keeping its goal to produce more than 400,000 vehicles at its Slovak factory. Unit CEO Albrecht Reimold, said that this target is nearly double what the plant could previously produce. Volkswagen believes that output of the new VW Up minicar would outweigh those produced previously.
Last year, the plant in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, produced 210,441 cars in 2011, compared with 144,510 in 2010. SUVs like the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7, its sister model, made up 93% of shipments. Its volume is expected to increase with the addition of the VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars. Serial production of the sister models began in the second half of 2011 in Bratislava.
Volkswagen is doing this so that it could benefit from the country's euro adoption as well as from the lower labor costs compared to those in western Europe. Reimold asserted, "We will stick to our goal.”
In January, European car sales fell by 6% in January to 1 million vehicles as consumers purchased less with the shrinking of the euro-region's economy. The European sales of Volkswagen fell by 1% in January. Volkswagen in Bratislava also assembles the bodies for Porsche Cayenne SUV.