Volkswagen will create 2,000 new jobs in its Slovak plant and will invest almost $410 million, the Slovak Economy Ministry said on Dec. 15. "The state will support the investment with a tax relief amounting to 5% of the total invested amount," the ministry's spokesman Branislav Zvara said.
The company is planning to produce two new small family-car models at the Bratislava plant.
The goal matches the strategy of Volkswagen's rivals in Slovakia, PSA Peugeot Citroen and KIA Motors, which have weathered the current crisis caused by low demand owing to their focus on small, economical cars.
Volkswagen, which launched production in Slovakia in 1991, has not cut production in the country heavily dependent on the car industry, in which it produces the VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Skoda Octavia models.
Volkswagen's Czech unit Skoda Auto also said on Dec. 15 it would not halt the production of Skoda Octavias in Bratislava, against previous plans, and that it expected to keep producing about 20,000 Octavias in Slovakia in 2009.
In 2007, the Slovak Volkswagen plant turned out 249,000 units, up from 239,000 a year earlier.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008