The shell of the new body shop for SUVs has already been erected at the Bratislava-based plant of car-manufacturer Volkswagen Slovakia, the TASR newswire learned on Tuesday, February 26, from the company's spokesman Vladimír Machalík.

The new body shop, worth €600 million, has been the biggest investment in the history of the company and at the same time one of the biggest body shop construction projects in the automotive industry worldwide. It should provide jobs for around 550 people when completed, which is estimated for mid 2014. According to Volkswagen Slovakia board chairman Albrecht Reinold, the hall will now be equipped with up-to-date technologies, including around a thousand robots.

Construction on the 110,000 square metre body shop was launched in July 2012 and has so far involved 350 workers. Around another 500 people will be installing new technology. For example, diode lasers will be used for laser welding, which should save a considerable amount of energy compared to conventional laser welding, Machalík pointed out.

Miroslava Rácová of the Bratislava self-governing Region also informed the SITA newswire that the new body shop will offer secondary-school students the chance to test their knowledge in practice. Bratislava Region and Volkswagen Bratislava are preparing a new centre of professional education aimed at helping graduates find jobs. The Bratislava region is also cooperating with the capital and the Transport Ministry on securing the necessary infrastructure for transporting parts into the plant and the completed cars out.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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