VOLKSWAGEN'S Slovak unit's sales reached Sk195.5 billion (€5.81 billion) in 2006. This is the highest annual figure since it started operations 15 years ago, and Sk39.2 billion more than last year.

Last year the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava produced 238,657 cars, the bulk of which, 68 percent, were SUVs.

"These cars are becoming our main focus," Andreas Tostman, chairman of Volkswagen Slovakia, told the TASR news wire.

The Audi Q7 will remain the focus of the company's production programme this year along with the Touareg, another sports utility vehicle, and the Polo sedan.

Volkswagen's cumulative investment in Slovakia has come to a total of Sk56.1 billion since 1992.