Volkswagen has reported that production in Slovakia soared in the first half of the year, almost outstripping output for the whole of 2011 following rising demand.

The carmaker made about 209,400 vehicles in the first six months of this year, compared with 210,441 in full year 2011. Much of the increase was down to production of the new VW Up and its all-but-identical Seat and Skoda derivatives.

The VW plant near the Slovakian capital Bratislava also produces SUV models including the latest Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne bodies.

The automaker plans to spend an additional EUR1.5bn (US$1.89bn) in Slovakia by 2016 and it also said revenues in the country rose by 43% in the first half of the year to EUR3.44bn.

Volkswagen Slovakia chief executive Albrecht Reimold said he remained cautious about the outlook and expected volatile global markets to prevail in the second half of the year.

He added: “We monitor the situation on the market very closely, and expect to boost production also in the second half of the year compared with the same period last year."