Serial assembly of the fourth generation of superbs in Bratislava began four weeks after the world premiere of this model. Together with the Passats, they roll off the same production line where Škoda Karoq sport utility vehicles are now assembled. However, the production of karoqs at the Slovakian Volkswagen factory will end after three years before the coming Christmas.
Since 2001, 1.6 million Superb cars of three generations have been produced, which form the top of the Škoda brand among models with combustion engines. Volkswagen decided to move its production to Bratislava, as well as Passats, three years ago. This step is part of the Beta+ project, which aims, among other things, to increase production efficiency.
“As part of the so-called Beta+ project, joint development of Škoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat cars took place under the leadership of the Škoda brand,” said Andreas Dick, a member of the Škoda Auto company’s board of directors for the area of production and logistics.
The production of the new generation of superbs started with the station wagon version, which will be followed by the hatchback in the first half of next year. Superbs will be equipped with one of three petrol or two diesel engines, and a plug-in hybrid drive will also be available.
The Bratislava factory expects to reach full production capacity of both new models in the first quarter of 2024. These models have most of the same body parts – 90% in particular, the only differences are hoods, fenders and the fifth door.
In the concern’s Bratislava factory, a number of new parts are pressed into Superbs and Passats, which are completed by a new body shop. In less than two years, Škoda Auto has installed more than 500 state-of-the-art production machines and control devices, along with advanced parts bonding technology. The assembly hall was rebuilt because the production line was not yet used for the production of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
According to Škoda Auto, moving the Superb model to Bratislava will create capacity for the production of Octavia cars at the plant in Czech Kvasiny from the summer of 2024. Thanks to this, it will also be possible to produce more electric cars at the plant in Mladá Boleslav.
Wolfram Kirchert, chairman of the board of directors of the Slovakian division of Volkswagen, said that the start of production of two new models means an important step for the Bratislava factory to utilize free capacities and to ensure employment. Volkswagen Slovakia is one of the largest private employers in the country.
The start of the production of Superbs and Passats also means the end of production of the Škoda Karoq, which the Bratislava factory started in the fall of 2020. Due to capacity reasons, Škoda Auto, which also manufactures this model in Kvasiny, helped with the assembly of this model. Lucia Kovarovič Makayová, the spokeswoman for the Slovakian division of Volkswagen, informed journalists about the end of karoq production in Bratislava today. “We expect the end of production on December 20. So far, we have produced approximately 65,000 karoqs in Slovakia, more than half of them this year,” said the spokeswoman.