BUSINESS IN SHORT

Crisis continues for carmakers?

GERMAN carmaker Volkswagen's Slovak unit and the KOVO metal-working union at the main plant in Bratislava have concluded collective bargaining for 2010. The final agreement is to increase the employees' salaries by 3 percent with effect from May 1, 2010, the company's spokesperson said on March 22 as reported by the TASR newswire. In addition, each employee will be paid €215 in a settlement for April. The new salary rates will be effective until March 31, 2011.

GERMAN carmaker Volkswagen's Slovak unit and the KOVO metal-working union at the main plant in Bratislava have concluded collective bargaining for 2010. The final agreement is to increase the employees' salaries by 3 percent with effect from May 1, 2010, the company's spokesperson said on March 22 as reported by the TASR newswire. In addition, each employee will be paid €215 in a settlement for April. The new salary rates will be effective until March 31, 2011.

On the other hand, another major carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, will halt production at its Trnava plant for 13 days during the next three months, the Sme daily has reported. The news comes in, despite the Trnava factory having increased production by 10 percent during the last year.

Generally, 2009 was a turbulent year for carmakers, and also for those located in Slovakia, Sme wrote on March 22. For example, Bratislava-based Volkswagen Slovakia produced over 105,000 vehicles, much less from the 188,000 it made the year before. Last year, the impact of the crisis was somewhat eased by the government's car-scrapping bonus scheme, which subsidised the purchase of new cars in return for older ones being scrapped.

However, there are no intentions to repeat the scheme this year, and the prospects for carmakers producing in Slovakia are uncertain. Some of them are profiting on new car models like the Volkswagen's UP! or the Hyundai ix35 SUV now being manufactured at Kia Slovakia' plant near Žilina.


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