October 9, 2008 / 3:54 PM / 11 years ago

Union says VW's Slovak plant eyes output cut

BRATISLAVA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Slovak factory of Germany’s Volkswagen (VOWG.DE) is considering a production cut due to weaker demand for its cars as a result of the global financial crisis, a Slovak trade union chief said on Thursday.

Volkswagen Slovakia, which assembles the Audi Q7 and Touareg and parts for the Porsche Cayenne, is Slovakia’s largest industrial company by sales and its production moves often influence the overall economic performance of the future euro zone member.

“We know that Volkswagen is considering halting (its) third shift,” Miroslav Gazdik, the head of the Confederation of Trade Unions told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Robert Fico.

No one at Volkswagen Slovakia was immediately available for comment. The factory has recently declined to comment on any production changes.

Slovak media have cited unnamed sources from the Volkswagen plant as saying it would cut production by some 6,000 units this year because of the weaker demand. The plant had expected to make some 250,000 cars this year, around the same as in 2007.

The Slovak economy relies heavily on car exports, and the government has said a possible downturn in the automotive industry was a downside risk to gross domestic product growth forecasts.

Data earlier this week showed output growth in the car industry slowed to 16.7 percent, year-on-year, in August, from 27.6 percent growth in July. (Reporting by Martin Santa; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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