Carmakers in Slovakia produced some 985,000 vehicles last year, which is 11 percent less than a year before.
The result can still be considered great given the current situation, according to Alexander Matušek, chair of the Slovak Automotive Industry Association (ZAP).
“We forecast a drop of more than 20 percent in early autumn,” Matušek said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The result achieved by the automotive industry in 2020 caused that the original catastrophic predictions of a two-digit economic drop did not come to fruition.”
Sale of new cars down
Vehicles and car components represent about half the exports of Slovak industry. Thus, it is important that car production exceed 1 million in 2021, according to ZAP.
The association expects the market to recover this year and the sale of new vehicles to amount to about 95,000.
The new car market failed to compensate the drop caused by the governmental measures and the closure of plants, and it eventually dropped 25 percent compared with 2019, to 84,909 vehicles.
“This result is comparable with the one in 2014,” said Pavol Prepiak, executive vice-president of ZAP, as quoted by TASR.
In addition, the system of registration fees did not change in 2020, while the share of imported used cars increased. Also the average age of these vehicles went up, with more than 36 percent being older than 10 years, Prepiak said.
Green and sustainable goals pursued
Matušek appreciated the legislative measures to minimise the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“These tools helped us to flexibly respond to market developments and successfully restore production after nearly all Europe was put out of operation,” he added, as quoted by TASR.
Meanwhile, carmakers need to continue meeting the commitments adopted as part of green and sustainable European strategies. For example, Slovakia still lags behind in e-mobility and related charging infrastructure, he added.