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Slovenia Business Week no. 40/2004: German Automotive Company Confirms Plant in Zagorje

German auto equipment maker Schefenacker has confirmed it will open a plant in the town of Zagorje. The investment valued at between EUR 8m and EUR 10m will create at least 300 jobs in a region where unemployment rate is among the highest in Slovenia.

The German company plans to build a plant that will produce car lighting equipment in this central Slovenian town. It will stretch over 6,000 sq. metres and will have its own development department, the head of Schefenacker's subsidiary told the press on Monday, 20 September.

According to Robert Grah of Schefenacker Grah Automotive, the total investment will be made over three to five years, with at least 300 workers expected to be hired in the first three years alone.

Schefenacker acquired the land in the Zagorje Industrial Zone through a public call to tenders. It was offered a special price of EUR 10 per square metre and made special concessions under the condition that it remains in Zagorje for at least 15 years and employs at least 150 workers in two years.

Schefenacker has also been approved state funds of SIT 272.4m (EUR 1.1m) as part of the Slovenian government's FDI promotion programme, Grah said. The company, said Grah, will provide more details about the project at the end of the year.

Schefenacker's decision to launch a plant in Zagorje was hailed by Zagorje Mayor Matjaz Svagan, who said the investment would be a big boost to the economy in Zagorje municipality and the whole of the Zasavje region.

The Zasavje region, dominated by mining a decade ago, has been struggling with a high jobless rate after the industry was slowly abandoned and restructuring called for substantial job-cuts.

Schefenacker has been present in Slovenia since 1997, when it established the joint venture Schefenacker Grah Automotive, which employs about 500 workers.

Seated in Esslingen, Schefenacker produces automotive parts, specialising in lighting, audio and vision systems. It has companies in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA