Volkswagen said on April 22 it would produce its new small family line of cars at its Bratislava plant. It said the small model production for its VW, Seat and Skoda brands will require an investment of some 308 million euros (US$400 million).
The new models will start coming off the production line in early 2011 and should add 1,500 new jobs to the 7,800 already at the plant.
PSA Peugeot Citroen and KIA Motors, Volkswagen's rivals in Slovakia Slovakia, are also betting on small, thrifty cars to see them through one of the worst slumps ever in the auto industry which has slashed demand for big vehicles.
Volkswagen, which produces more its expensive VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Skoda Octavia models in Slovakia, has had to cut production several times since the beginning of the year, including a two-week halt in April.
The Slovak government said in December it would support the VW investment with tax relief amounting to 5% of the total amount.
Volkswagen, which launched production in Slovakia in 1991, made 188,000 vehicles at its Bratislava plant last year, down from 249,000 in 2007.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009