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Slovak factories manufactured around 770,000 cars in 2008

A total of 770,000 cars were made in Slovakia in 2008. Production is expected to fall this year due to the global economic crisis, but it is estimated that production volumes will be restored to their former levels in 2010, said Milan Kempai from the Economy Ministry at the AutoSlovakia ‘09 conference in Bratislava on Wednesday, February 25, the TASR newswire reported.

A total of 770,000 cars were made in Slovakia in 2008. Production is expected to fall this year due to the global economic crisis, but it is estimated that production volumes will be restored to their former levels in 2010, said Milan Kempai from the Economy Ministry at the AutoSlovakia ‘09 conference in Bratislava on Wednesday, February 25, the TASR newswire reported.

Kempai noted that Slovakia has an open economy largely dependent on exports, including cars, and it has been affected by the global crisis. He said that Slovakia's healthy financial sector had helped in the downturn, along with the introduction of the euro in January, industrial flexibility and economic growth. Slovakia is now mainly suffering from an increase in unemployment, he stated.

The Government has adopted 62 anti-crisis measures so far, TASR wrote. Further measures, focused especially on the car industry, are to be discussed at the Economic Crisis Council meeting on February 26.

Apart from the economic downturn, said Kempai, the car industry in Slovakia was also influenced last year by changing customer preferences, market changes, environmental factors and innovations. Kempai said that car producers in Slovakia haven’t asked the Government for any direct assistance and that they are trying to manage the crisis by cutting down on working hours and innovation programmes. The crisis is mostly affecting suppliers to the car manufacturers, he added.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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