Volkswagen Group saw a two-percent rise in production at its Bratislava site in Slovakia unit to 426,313 vehicles in 2013 from 419,888 cars in 2012. The rise was attributed to strong demand for SUVs and minicars built by the unit, despite the unstable recovery of vehicle sales in western Europe. The Bratislava site builds the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 SUVs as well as bodies for the Porsche Cayenne.
In 2011, Volkswagen added the New Small Family line of minicars, built for the Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda brands. The site exports a third of its output outside Europe, primarily to China and the United States. According to VW, SUVs accounted for around 51 percent of total production in 2013, with minicars accounting for the rest.
The site’s chief executive, Albrecht Reimold, remarked that the unity is operating on the edge of its production capacity. He added that this year will be a huge challenge for the unit as it aims for similar production" to what was posted in 2013.
Volkswagen is bidding to increase production in Slovakia, aiming to take advantage of its euro adoption combined with lower labor costs. Volkswagen is intending make a EUR1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) investment between 2012 and 2016 to expand its Bratislava site. The carmaker has already invested around EUR600 million on the site in the period.