The German carmaker Volkswagen will allegedly build its new small electric car in its factory in Bratislava. The company had initially intended to produce the car at its factory in Emden, Germany, but chose Bratislava instead because wage costs are lower in Slovakia than in Germany, German business paper Handelsblatt reported last week.
The Slovak arm of the carmaker has treated the information as speculation and refused to comment on it.
“It’s known that the Bratislava plant of Volkswagen Slovakia is currently seeking the production of new products so that it secures jobs in the future,” said Lucia Kovarovič Makayová, spokesperson of Volkswagen Slovakia as cited by the TASR newswire.
Fewer staffers in Bratislava
This year the Bratislava plant wants to reduce the number of its workers from 2018’s 14,800 by 3,000 to increase efficiency.
The Bratislava plant began to produce the third generation of the Volkswagen Touareg and the brand new Audi Q8 model last year. Along with these models it manufactures the Audi Q7, the Porsche Cayenne, the Porsche Cayenne Coupé, the Seat Mii, the Škodo Citigo, the Volkswagen up! and its electric version the Volkswagen e-up!.
The Bratislava plant has been producing the Volkswagen e-up! since 2013, when production of this model started in Bratislava as a pilot for the whole group. Usually a production cycle of one car model is about six years. There are no official plans for models built on VW’s electric vehicle platform in Bratislava so far.
Oliver Grünberg, chair of Volkswagen Slovakia’s board, said at a press conference on April 17 that the Bratislava plant wants to continue with the production of electric cars.
The allocation of new projects will be decided within the concern at the end of 2019.