BUSINESS IN SHORT

Car production in Slovakia rises

A TOTAL of 639,000 cars were produced by auto assembly plants in Slovakia last year. The figure topped the pre-crisis output of 575,000 recorded in 2008, the TASR newswire reported.

A TOTAL of 639,000 cars were produced by auto assembly plants in Slovakia last year. The figure topped the pre-crisis output of 575,000 recorded in 2008, the TASR newswire reported.

The head of Slovakia’s Automotive Industry Association (ZAP), Jozef Uhrík, citing reports from the three auto manufacturing plants, said that 2012 should see even higher production numbers, up to 780,000.

The three plants in Slovakia – Volkswagen in Bratislava, PSA Peugeot-Citroën in Trnava and Kia in Žilina – are among the most modern in the world, Uhrík told TASR, adding that this is why these automobile manufacturers choose to make their leading models here.

But Uhrík added that Slovakia’s continuing competitiveness in the sector depends on ongoing reforms, particularly in the areas of education, the legal framework and infrastructure, noting that the assembly plants are now reporting a serious shortage of qualified workers, obstructions to their investment initiatives and problems with the country's transport network, especially highways in the eastern part of Slovakia, TASR reported.

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