THE SLOVAK automotive industry will take on up to 30,000 new employees in the next two years, in spite of the global financial crisis. This year, about 75,000 people should work in this sector of the economy; but in 2010, the number should rise to 105,000, said Mária Nováková, the head of the Association of the Automotive Industry of Slovakia. She was speaking at a conference of experts held in Brno, in the Czech Republic, to discuss the development of the automotive industry, the ČTK newswire reported on October 30.
According to Nováková, Slovakia is not facing a reduction in jobs of the kind experts are predicting in the Czech Republic. Current estimates by the Association of the Automotive Industry of the Czech Republic suggest the industry there could lose as many as 10,000 jobs this year and early next year.
Slovakia is one of the world’s biggest per capita car producers. This year, factories operated by PSA Peugeot Citroën, Volkswagen and KIA Motors should produce at least 600,000 cars. “These are very pessimistic estimates, it would mean an increase in production of only five percent compared to last year,” Nováková said. “According to the latest information, results could be better.”
Nováková said that next year should not bring a decrease in production compared to 2008, in spite of current pessimistic estimates. “We expect growth, or stagnation at worst,” she added.
Automotive plants have contributed significantly to Slovakia’s booming economy, in the process becoming a fundamental part of the country’s industrial sector. Investments in the automotive industry have amounted to more than Sk230 billion over the past eight years.