German automaker Volkswagen may decide to produce one of its best-selling models – the Passat in Slovakia instead of Turkey, the automotive news agency reported.
This week, the company’s board of directors has to decide whether to build the factory in Turkey after stopping a planned 1.3 billion euro investment due to Turkey’s military operation in Syria, launched by President Recep Erdogan.
Volkswagen plans to start operating the new factory by October 2022, when activities in the German city of Emden, where Passat is currently manufactured, will shift to fully electric cars.
One of the options under discussion is the transfer of Passat’s production to the huge concern’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo are also manufactured there. Stopping the production of minivans can free up the necessary capacity.
Slovakia is the country where most cars are produced per capita – around 300,000 people are engaged in the sector. Earlier this year, Volkswagen’s plant announced plans to lay off 3,000 workers at its plant in the country.
Initially, the Volkswagen plant was to be built in Manisa, 40 km northeast of Izmir, on Turkey’s west coast. It was also planned to produce the next-generation Passat and the Skoda Superb, with a maximum annual capacity of 300,000 cars.