1991: under the wings of VW
After 1989 and the end of the communist state-run economy, the search for strong strategic partners for Czechoslovak companies began. In the case of the Bratislava Automobile Works, the serious candidates included General Motors, Renault and Volkswagen. As in the case of Škoda in Mladá Boleslav, the offer from VW, already the largest European car manufacturer at that time, was rated highest. In March 1991, the concern acquired a majority in the company, later becoming the sole owner and the company was renamed VW Slovakia. Today, a total of about 11,000 employees work for VW Slovakia at the Bratislava, Stupava, Martin and Košice plants.
An Audi Q7 being made in Bratislava.
The first model of the new era in Bratislava was the third-generation Volkswagen Passat (B3), with production of the Variant Arriva estate car starting on 21 December 1991. Manufacturing of transmission systems followed, and other models of a total of five Volkswagen Group brands were also added, for example the VW Golf and Polo. Another milestone in the company’s development was the 2002 launch of production of the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne large SUVs, later joined by the Audi Q7.
Škoda returned to Bratislava in the form of the Octavia model in 2008-2011. This was followed by the production of the Škoda Citigo (2011-2021) and, from 2019, the first mass-produced electric vehicle of the Mladá Boleslav brand – the Škoda Citigoe iV.
2019 marked the start of production of the Škoda Citigoe iV in Bratislava.
The popular Karoq SUV has also been made in Slovakia for some time. Now, the range of Slovak-made cars will be complemented by the new Superb and Superb Combi.