The Volkswagen Group is investing approximately 500 million euros in its Bratislava factory to produce a new generation of Škoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat models. According to the carmaker’s Slovak division.
Production of the Škoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat, which will begin in Slovakia in 2023, will not require expanding the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava. The company will use a significant part of these investments to modify the paint shop lines and other technologies.
“We are not creating new production capacities. The factory will remain at its original capacities,” Oliver Grünberg, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Slovakia, said.
According to Grünberg, Volkswagen will invest a total of about one billion euros in Slovakia in the next period. In addition to investing in the production of Škoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat cars, it will spend additional money on other models.
The Volkswagen plant’s production lines in Bratislava are currently driven mainly by sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and small city cars, including Škoda Citigo electric cars. Last year, Volkswagen produced 377,750 vehicles in Slovakia, more than two-thirds of which were Audi Q7, Audi Q8, Volkswagen Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne SUVs. In October this year, the factory launched the production of the Škoda Karoq SUV. Since it entered Slovakia in 1991, Volkswagen has invested over 4.5 billion euros.
Slovak Minister of Finance Eduard Heger welcomed Volkswagen’s new investment, which has about 12,000 employees in Slovakia. It is one of the country’s largest employers, although last year it reduced the number of employees by about 3,000. “Volkswagen is a pioneer in the automotive industry in Slovakia. It was the first foreign investment in the west,” Heger told a news conference at the Volkswagen plant.
In the summer, the Slovak government promised to support Volkswagen’s investment and the construction of rental apartments in the vicinity of the Bratislava car factory.
Volkswagen is one of four carmakers that assemble vehicles in the country below the Tatras. At the time of economic growth before the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, the automotive industry was the main engine of the Slovak economy, which last year maintained its position as the largest car manufacturer per capita.
There was speculation about the transfer of production of Superb cars already in 2017 and 2018. The Volkswagen Group then decided to move the car’s production of the Passat family, to which the Superb also belongs, to Kvasin in the Rychnov region. Subsequently, there was talk that Superb and Passat would be produced in the group’s brand new factory in Turkey. In the end, however, Volkswagen withdrew from these plans.