BRATISLAVA – Volkswagen AG plans to produce 400,000 cars at its Slovak site next year, reaching the assembly plant's anticipated full annual capacity, the Slovak unit said.
The factory's current annual production capacity is 280,000 cars.
Volkswagen Slovakia, which makes SUVs for the group, currently produces the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7 and parts of the Porsche Cayenne.
"We plan to produce 400,000 new cars in Bratislava next year," Andreas Tostmann, head of Volkswagen Slovakia told reporters Wednesday after a meeting with Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic.
Volkswagen Slovakia, the central European country's second biggest exporter last year, made 144,510 vehicles last year, up from 106,000 cars in 2009, with revenues rising by 37.4 percent year-on-year to 4.04 billion euros.
The company's production almost doubled in the first six months of this year, driven by solid foreign demand for its sport utility vehicles (SUV).
Volkswagen, plans to invest an additional 1 billion euros in the euro zone country by 2015.
Last month, VW said that production in the second half of this year in Slovakia would be boosted by the start of serial assembly of the so-called "New Small Family" of models. VW is planning to unveil the first car in this lineup, the Up minicar, at this month's Frankfurt auto show.
In the coming years a range of cars, grouped under the label New Small Family, will be introduced, from a coupe to a minivan. A decontented variant is planned for emerging markets and VW's sister brands, Skoda and Seat, will get their own versions.
The new range will be strategically important to VW as it aims to become the world's best-selling automaker by 2018. In 2010, VW Group (including Audi, Skoda, Seat and Lamborghini) sold 7.14 million units, behind Toyota with 8.42 million and GM with 8.39 million.
Sources: Reuters and Bloomberg