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Volkswagen to boost Slovak unit output

From Automotive News Europe| May 28,2007

Volkswagen will boost output at its Slovak plant this year to around 250,000 cars due to high demand for its models, VW Slovakia Chairman Andreas Tostmann said today.

Europe's top carmaker said in March it expected to make between 220,000 and 230,000 vehicles in 2007 in its Slovak factory, which is the country's biggest company by sales and its largest exporter.

"We see a strong demand for our Touareg as well as for Polo and (Audi) Q7. Therefore, total production volume will be a little bit higher than in 2006 ... roughly around 250,000 cars," Tostmann told journalists.

The plant near the Slovak capital made 238,657 vehicles in 2006, up from 218,349 units in 2005, due to rising demand for the Audi Q7 SUV model. Its annual output capacity is 280,000 cars. The Volkswagen factory has around 15 percent share of overall Slovak exports. Its output swings can influence the whole economy, and its results and plans are closely watched by financial markets.

The plant has shifted focus to models with higher added value, such as the Audi Q7 and VW Touareg SUVs, in recent years. It also makes Cayenne bodies for Porsche and the VW Polo.

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