Gorenje launches production in Serbia

Gorenje, the Velenje-based home appliance maker, has launched a new EUR 20m refrigerator and freezer production plant in the Serbian town of Valjevo.
The new plant, which was officially opened on Monday in the presence of Serbian Minister of International Economic Relations Milan Parivodic, is part of Gorenje’s push on new markets and is the second production location outside of Slovenia after the Czech Republic.

The group plans to produce 840 units a day at the plant in the initial stages, while production capacity is to rise to one million units a year by 2010, Gorenje chairman Franjo Bobinac told the press in Valjevo.

Bobinac said at the opening that Valjevo will be the home to Gorenje’s story of success in Serbia. Moreover, he believes it will help raise the share of Gorenje’s production outside of Slovenia to 25%.

He stressed that the new plant was an important gain for a company that sells 93% of its products outside of Slovenia.

Other production facilities are to follow, Bobinac said, and announced that Gorenje had in recent days bought a plant in Stara Pazova. There it intends to launch production of water heaters in 2007.

Valjevo suits Gorenje as a location because of its proximity to key markets as well as a rail connection. Moreover, the land around the plant allows for expansion.

Furthermore, Bobinac said Gorenje was being treated as a domestic brand in Serbia, with households owning two to three Gorenje products on average.He also said that in planning the investment, Gorenje “believed that we could get good workers and make our investment a success in Serbia, a country with a rich tradition of industry”.

The refrigerators and freezers from the Valjevo plant, which currently employs 330 workers, will be destined for all of Gorenje’s markets.

Adjacent to the plant, the company also launched a modern showroom with all types of Gorenje household products.

Gorenje plans to make a total of 3.7 million household appliances this year and generate EUR 1.1bn in sales revenues.

Source: http://www.uvi.si

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