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.