Auto industry set to put brakes on central Europe’s COVID-19 recovery

BUDAPEST/PRAGUE (Reuters) – The auto industry, long a driver of economic growth in central Europe, is likely to be one of the main drags on the region’s efforts this year to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: Employees work on an assembly line as the Volkswagen construction plant reopens after shutting down due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bratislava, Slovakia April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa/File Photo

After communist rule ended in central Europe three decades ago, foreign carmakers invested heavily in a region that had a cheap and efficient workforce. The auto sector became an important