Over the last 25 years the automotive industry has become a pillar of Slovakia’s economy as well as an engine of development. The three major carmakers and their subcontractors account for up to 12 percent of gross domestic product and in 2015 the country surpassed 1 million vehicles produced.
The sector looks set to grow even further this year.
“In the long term, there is additional space for growth that should be supported by the investment of Jaguar Land Rover,” Juraj Sinay, president of the Automotive Industry Association (ZAP) told The Slovak Spectator.
Between them, Volkswagen Slovakia (VW SK), Kia Motors Slovakia and PSA Groupe Slovakia manufactured 1,038,483 cars in Slovakia last year, an increase of almost 70,000 units from 2014. Of these, VW manufactured 397,458 units, Kia 338,000 and PSA 303,025 vehicles. The carmakers manufactured 190 cars per 1,000 Slovak citizens.
“The year 2015 was for Volkswagen Slovakia the year of the launch of production of the new generation of Audi Q7,” the spokesperson for Volkswagen Slovakia, Lucia Kovarovič Makayová, told The Slovak Spectator, adding that the company also launched record investments and hit a new record in employment when the number of its employees increased to about 10,800.
VW SK noted that production was 3,000 units higher than the year before despite the diesel emissions scandal.
“The emission scandal has not affected sales of Volkswagen cars negatively,” Stanislav Pondela, director of sales of Volkswagen cars at car dealer Araver, told the Hospodárske Noviny daily.
Kia Motors Slovakia, in Teplička nad Váhom, increased its car production by four percent. In June 2015 it introduced a new cee’d model and in December also the long-expected fourth generation of the Kia Sportage.
PSA Groupe Slovakia in Trnava also achieved a record in car production last year. Thanks to growing demand for the restyled Peugeot 208, its production increased by 18.7 percent. This model itself made up 85 percent of total car production at the Trnava plant.
“In 2015 the main theme was confirmation that the Trnava plant will manufacture a new Citroën model,” the company states on its website. The plant started preparations for the launch of that model’s production in the middle of 2015.
Still, record production numbers were not the biggest story in the Slovak automotive industry in 2015.
What are the expectations for 2016? What do the carmakers complain about?
9. Sep 2016 at 6:30 | Jana Liptáková