Automotive industry in Slovakia

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Since 2007, Slovakia has been the world's largest producer of cars per capita,[1] with a total of 1 080 000 in 2018[2] (1,001,520 in 2017 and 1,040,000 in 2016)[3] cars manufactured alone in a country with 5 million people. With production of more than a million cars in 2016, Slovakia was 20th in the list of worldwide car production by country and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. Car manufacture is the largest industry in Slovakia with a share of 12% on the Slovak GDP in 2013[4] which was 41% of industrial production and 26% of Slovakia's export. 80,000 people were employed in the automotive industry in 2014. 1,500 people were employed when Jaguar Land Rover started production in Nitra in 2018.[5]


The "Drndička" was the first automobile to be fully constructed in Slovakia and was constructed by the blacksmith Michal Majer in 1913.[6] He copied a car owned by the Bulgarian King who was at that time travelling through Slovakia.

After World War I Slovakia became a part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia. In the Czech part, the industry had been influenced mostly by Germans - see for example the dispute about the design of Tatra T97 by Hans Ledwinka vs Volkswagen Beetle design by Ferdinand Porsche, who was also born in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). The long tradition of Czech car production started in 1897, when the first Czech car (Präsident) was produced in the factory in Kopřivnice (Nesselsdorfer Wagenbaufabriksgesellschaft later Tatra), followed by the first lorry in 1898. Škoda Auto (and its predecessors) is the world's fifth oldest company producing cars and has an unbroken history. The first Škoda motorcycle made its debut in 1899 and in 1905 the firm started manufacturing automobiles. Even before World War II the automotive industry was a significant and advanced part of the economy of the former Czechoslovakia.

Post-war socialist Czechoslovakia restored auto manufacturing with the original brands and became the second largest (after Poland) in the Soviet block outside the USSR. The Czechoslovakian producers Škoda (cars and trolleybuses), Tatra and Avia (which mainly produced trucks and trams), Karosa (buses) Jawa and ČZ (motorcycles) all had their production in the present-day Czech Republic, not in Slovakia.

Companies in Slovakia, including Matador Púchov and VSŽ Košice (steel mills), were supplying parts and components to the Czech part of the republic but later (from 1971) some final production of Škoda cars was also established in Slovakia as Bratislava Automotive Works (BAZ) and Trnava Automotive Works (TAZ). Some Tatra car production was also moved to Banovce nad Bebravou.

However, following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic inherited most of its auto production capabilities and since then has grown fast through foreign investment. Although Volkswagen bought Škoda's production sites in Slovakia in 1991, it gained full control only in 1999 when Volkswagen Slovakia was established, which was the real beginning of the rapid development of the auto-industry in Slovakia.

The truck manufacturing company Tanax Trucks was established in 2000 in Bánovce nad Bebravou, as a successor to the town's established Tatra truck factory. Several bus manufacturing companies emerged during the 1990s, including Novoplan in Lučenec (active from 1996 until 2019), Granus in Zvolen (1997-2003), originally a local division of the LIAZ company, as well as the company SlovBus in Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Detva (1997-2011). The only currently active bus manufacturer is Troliga Bus in Levoča, which began bus design and production in 2009, and inherited some of the assets from its former collaborator, the defunct Novoplan company.


Slovakia is one of the significant European (7th) and World's (20th) automakers, having an annual output of more than 1 million and exports to more than 100 countries. Passenger car manufacturers in Slovakia currently include 4 OEM automobile production plants: Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, PSA Peugeot Citroën's in Trnava and Kia Motors' Žilina Plant and Jaguar Land Rover in Nitra. There are many other tier suppliers.

Domestically owned automotive manufacturers specializing in smaller volume serial production include Tanax Trucks in Bánovce nad Bebravou (focused primarily on military trucks for armed forces contracts) and Troliga Bus in Levoča (focused on urban transit and intercity buses and coaches). The small independent company K-1 Engineering specializes in hand-crafted concept sportscars, their K-1 Attack model.

Current models[edit]

Volkswagen Bratislava Plant[edit]

Small car line: Volkswagen's Up family: Volkswagen up!, Škoda Citigo, SEAT Mii

Regular car line: VW luxury SUVs: Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne

PSA Peugeot Citroën Plant in Trnava[edit]

Peugeot 207 (manufactured since 2006)[7]

Citroën C3 Picasso (manufactured since mid-2008)

Peugeot 208 (manufactured since November 2011)[8]

Kia Motors' Žilina Plant[edit]

Kia Cee'd

Kia Sportage third generation (since 2010)

K-1 Engineering[edit]

K-1 Attack

Jaguar Land Rover Slovakia Nitra plant[edit]

Land Rover Discovery

Troliga Bus Levoča plant[edit]

City buses: Leonis, Leonis Electric, Sirius, Scorpius

Intercity buses: Pegasus, Fenix, Fenix CNG, Taurus

Defunct manufacturers[edit]

Passenger cars and vans[edit]



  1. ^ "Slovak Car Industry Production Almost Doubled in 2007". 9 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Na Slovensku sa v roku 2018 vyrobil rekordný počet áut". - Novinky, testy, recenzie (in Slovak). 2019-01-13. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  3. ^ "Slovakia - Motor vehicle production 2016". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  4. ^ Rosival, Štefan (27 Jan 2014). "Industry sector which the crises bypassed (Priemysel, ktorý obišla kríza)". Automagazin. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Jaguar Land Rover chooses Slovakia for new plant". jaguarlandrover. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  6. ^ "Najstaršia automobilka na Slovensku bola v Psiaroch (The oldest Slovak car production facility was in Psiare)". Peter Ižold. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Site de Trnava". PSA. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  8. ^ "Professional MBA Automotive Industry: Factory visit and workshop at PSA Peugeot Citroën in Trnava". 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2012-09-29.

External links[edit]