Volkswagen plans to keep car production in Slovakia at the level that saw it doubling production to a record in 2012.

The plant close to Bratislava makes cars for Russia, Germany, the US, UK and China, countries where robust sales have helped offset falling demand in Europe.

It made 419,888 vehicles last year, up from 210,441 in 2010. Chief executive Albrecht Reimold told Reuters: “"We are working to sustain reached (production) level with a goal to increase this further. We are, however, no island. We are doing quite well this year and we already have three months behind us.

"We consider markets as very volatile. The worldwide market, however, is evolving positively. There is a very difficult situation in Europe and we have to be vigilant. Flexible and active. The key is to consolidate and continue high production levels."

SUVs make up 51% of production at the factory and include Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche vehicles. VW Group is currently considering whether it could also produce the forthcoming Bentley SUV there as well.

Germany remains the biggest export market with a 40.2% share, followed by China with 9.5% and the UK with 7.1%.