Volkswagen says will make 400,000 cars next year in Slovakia

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German auto giant Volkswagen said on Wednesday it planned to assemble about 400,000 cars at its Slovak plant next year.

"Next year we want to produce 400,000 cars in Bratislava," Chairman of the Board Andreas Tostmann told journalists.

Volkswagen increased output at its Slovak plant by 45 percent to 94,600 cars in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier.

The carmaker, which produces the high-end Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne models at the plant in the Slovak capital Bratislava, turned out 144,500 cars last year, up 36 percent from 2009.

Volkswagen also expects to launch production of small family cars later this year, following the example of its rivals in the former communist country -- South Korea's Kia Motors and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen, which weathered the global crisis by focusing on smaller cars.

Volkswagen exports nearly all of the cars produced at its Slovak plant, with some 36 percent going to Germany and nearly 19 percent to China.

© 2011 AFP

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