Volkswagen Cut Slovakian Production, Jobs Last Year

The global recession continues to show its negative effects on the automotive industry. The latest car segment contraction news is linked to Volkswagen, who reduced production by 44 percent at its Slovak production site last year - this led to a 17 percent job cut, as Agence France Presse reports.

Volkswagen’s  Bratislava plant laid off 1,300 workers last year, due to the fact that its output decreased from 188,000 (the figure registered a year before) to 105,997 units. Now, it only employs a workforce of 6,500 people.

Last year was difficult for Volkswagen but we see a positive trend,” Volkswagen Slovakia chairman Andreas Tostmann was quoted as saying by the aforementioned source.

The factory assembles both premium vehicles, including the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne SUVs and the high-volume Skoda Octavia. However, the company says that the future of the plant looks good, as it announced its plans to debut the production of a new range of small vehicles at the factory starting next year. VW will invest $400 million to develop the project - this will create 1,500 direct jobs and 7,000 indirect jobs during the course of the following year.

We are prepared for a difficult economic situation also in 2010 but we feel the first signs of recovery,” Tostmann added, detailing the company's financial trends.

The Volkswagen plant in Slovakia has almost no connection with the country’s market - the plant is used as a production outsourcing center that offer cost efficiency, as 98.7 percent of the vehicles assembled there are destined for export, reaching the German and Chinese markets.
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