BUSINESS IN SHORT

Up! to be labelled ‘Made in Slovakia’

VOLKSWAGEN Slovakia (VW SK) has welcomed the decision by its parent company to produce the new Up! model in the Devínska Nová Ves plant adjacent to Bratislava.

VOLKSWAGEN Slovakia (VW SK) has welcomed the decision by its parent company to produce the new Up! model in the Devínska Nová Ves plant adjacent to Bratislava.

VW management in Germany announced on April 22 that the new small family car will be made in Slovakia. The car manufacturer’s investment is expected to amount to €308 million.

The Bratislava plant, where the company produces Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, Škoda Octavia and luxury Porsche Cayenne models, has long been considered a favourite. The production of the Up! model will create about 1,500 new jobs, the TASR newswire wrote. Currently, VW employs about 7,800 people in Slovakia.

The first Up! models should be assembled in early 2011. Annual production capacity in the Bratislava plant will increase to 400,000 cars.

VW intends to use this model to capture a greater share of a segment of the auto market in which it has been poorly represented to date. The Up! is intended to be both economical and environmentally friendly.

VW also decided to land its new investment in Slovakia thanks to the government’s car-scrapping scheme, Prime Minister Robert Fico told a press conference on April 22. He said it definitely can be partly ascribed to the scrapping bonus programme because Slovakia showed European solidarity. Other reasons for VW favouring Slovakia are its highly-qualified labour force, the introduction of the euro in January and the country’s political stability, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Slovak government approved an investment incentive of over €14 million in the form of tax allowances for this project in December 2008.

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