Volkswagen to move Ukraine-based plant to Serbia?
Skoda importer and Auto Cacak owner Milenko Kostic has told Vecernje Novosti that there is a possibility of a Volkswagen factory moving from Ukraine to Serbia.
This factory has not, Kostic said, achieved expected results in the production of Skoda models – one of the 12 brands of the largest car manufacturer in the world.
Kostic pointed out that important people from Volkswagen and Skoda management contacted him “two days ago” asking for his assessment of the business environment in Serbia, the daily reported on Tuesday.
“They asked me about average wages, the training of the workforce – in general, about everything related to business conditions,” Kostic said, adding that “there is smoke, but whether there will be fire, we will know soon.”
As he pointed out, “the fact is that we are in the game, but Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania are all competing.” In this race, Kostic continued, the offer of the state will be crucial, and the Germans will go to that country which gives them more.
What worries Kostic are Volkswagen’s demands.
Other than around the town of Nis and in Vojvodina, there’s hardly 300-400 hectares of free acres to build a factory anywhere, and therefore Kostic is not ruling out the possibility that a new plant might move into Fiat’s premises in Kragujevac, as it is not yet known whether Fiat will definitely stay in Serbia.
“That would be ideal, because there is already a factory and thousands of skilled workers there, but I’m concerned about the capacity, because the current Fiat plant can produce 200,000 cars annually, while the Germans want the capacity to be more than 300,000,” Kostic said.
According to him, more details will be known after the Belgrade Motor Show (held March 22-30), that will be attended by “important people from Volkswagen.” Kostic also remarked that he “regrets that we we missed the chance to bring this brand to Serbia 15 years ago.”
According to Kostic, in 2002 and 2003 he was close to ensuring that some models are assembled in the Cacak-based factory Cer – but, he said, the state leadership at the time did not recognize the opportunity, insisting instead that this work be transferred to Kragujevac.
Kostic sees an indicator of the arrival of the German car giant here in the arrival of the company FORwerk, which mostly produces parts for Volkswagen. “It would be fantastic for our country and our economy to have Volkswagen here, however, the decision is only in the heads of the main people in Wolfsburg (VW headquarters),” concluded Kostic.