CORPORATE BRIEFS

Volkswagen Bratislava puts out over 100,000 cars as of mid-October

Volkswagen, Ltd., Bratislava (VW), number seven on TREND weekly's Top 100 Slovak companies in 1997, put out 100,000 cars as of mid-October 1998. Since the Bratislava-based affiliate of the biggest European carmaker assembles 3,000 cars a week, its 1998 output will exceed the planned 120,000, which is three-times as high as in 1997, when it manufactured 40,882 cars.

As Frank Schreier, head of the VW Bratislava Car Production Department, told a news conference on October 21, the company is currently working at maximum production capacity. Next year, production will have to be consolidated from the viewpoints of quality, effectiveness, and cost if its volume is to be anything similar to this year. Current daily production approaches 500 cars, and it should climb to 1,050 by the year 2000.

To accomodate the rapid growth in production, a three-shift work cycle has been introduced at VW. In addition to the above 120,000 cars, the company's 1998 projections include production of 322,000 gearboxes (up 14% y/y) and 7.2 million gearbox components (up 13% y/y). Output is charted at over 53 billion Sk ($1.47 billion), which is more than half the production volume of the entire Slovak engineering sector.

The 1998 investments of VW in Slovakia are drafted at 173.6 million DEM and they total almost 500 million DEM since VW started its venture in Bratislava. VW Bratislava belongs to the Volkswagen Konzern group headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VW Bratislava currently employs 5,215 people.

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