Slovakia eyes swelling car output as it shrugs off VW scandal and slowing Chinese sales

By bne IntelliNews November 11, 2015

Car production in Slovakia is expected to rise to almost 1mn units this year, as the coutnry's vital auto sector appears set to shrug off the emissions scandal at Volkswagen, Car Industry Association (ZAP) said on November 11.

VW is the country's largest exporter, and there is uncertainty over the fate of several large investments in Slovakia that were planned by the German giant. However, the country also hosts plants run by South Korea's Kia Motors and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The three car manufacturers produced 971,000 cars in Slovakia last year. Meanwhile, Slovakia has said it hopes to sign off on a large investment from Jaguar Land Rover before the end of the year, a deal analysts suggest could offer a GDP boost.

The snowballing VW scandal - as well as slowing sales in the crucial Chinese market - has sparked worry that the automotive industry might suffer. Moreover, any pullback from planned investment would have an impact on the country’s economy, which is heavily reliant on car production. 

“None of the car makers have signaled any cuts in output, despite the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal and weakening in emerging markets," ZAP president, Juraj Sina, said.

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