Volkswagen’s Slovak unit will face problems meeting its 2004 production targets for the four-wheel-drive Touareg SUV, a senior executive told the Reuters news agency.

Volkswagen’s Slovak arm aims to raise Touareg output by 50% this year, from 60,000 units in 2003, to meet unexpectedly high demand, the report said.

“We want to produce 90,000 Touaregs this year… and it seems that that is still not enough. We will have big problems to even meet this number,” the firm’s chairman, Jozef Uhrik, told Reuters.

He reportedly did not elaborate but said the plant was getting ready to further boost its Touareg output.

According to Reuters, the company, which accounts for about a fifth of Slovakia’s total exports, is also preparing to launch production of a luxury Audi SUV by the end of 2005.

Volkswagen Slovakia, which also plans to continue producing Polo models and Seat cars this year, assembled 281,000 vehicle in 2003, hitting its goals, the report added.

Uhrik reportedly declined to comment if the plant would meet 2004 production goals, set last year, for as many as 350,000 cars, compared with about 235,000 cars in 2002.