Bratislava, January 10 (TASR) – According to data released by the Slovak Automobile Industry Association (ZAP), Slovak carmakers produced over 1.1 million vehicles last year, slightly up from 2018, meaning that Slovakia remains the world leader in terms of car production per capita.
ZAP president Alexander Matusek told media on Friday that the automotive industry’s share of Slovakia’s total industry reached 49.5 percent, while the export share was 46.6 percent. The automotive industry directly employs over 177,000 people, while generating 275,000 jobs both directly and indirectly. Despite these positives, there’s a need to take key measures in order to maintain competitiveness, stressed ZAP representatives.
ZAP officials see basic obstacles to further progress in an acute lack of qualified labour, rapid and unpredictable growth in salary costs, the non-existence of a system for transferring scientific knowledge into practice and a low level of development of alternative propulsion and the preparation of new forms of mobility.
Matusek expressed ZAP’s concerns regarding future government steps that could further reduce the industry’s competitiveness. The absence of a high-quality social dialogue when setting the minimum wage, direct and indirect increases in employers’ costs and the adoption of measures without any compensation all threaten the automotive sector’s future, claim ZAP representatives.
A total of 113,863 new officially imported cars of all categories were registered last year, up 1,998 from 2018.
In addition, 68,155 individually imported cars were registered in Slovakia last year. The proportion of new cars vis-a-vis total registration thus reached 59.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the tendency to import very old cars (older than 15 years) persisted in Slovakia in 2019. This has an impact on road safety, emissions levels and the environment.