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Since last year, Slovakia is the world’s largest car producer relative to the size of its population, manufacturing 171 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, putting it considerably ahead of rivals the Czech Republic and South Korea.

“This means both advantages and disadvantages,” writes the Slovak daily, noting that the automotive sector is a pillar of the local economy,employing more than 74,000 people. However, “in times of crisis […] cars are among the first products which people postpone buying.”

While Slovak vehicle exports head towards the EU, other markets are becoming increasingly important. For instance, the industry is seeking to exploit the recent tension between China and Japan, which has triggered a Chinese boycott of Japanese cars.