Serbian media report that car giant Volkswagen has chosen the neighbouring country for the investment in a new plant, leaving aside Romania, Turkey, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Although Romanian and Bulgaria are EU Member States and could have been favourites, ‘Večernje Novosti’ reports that the German group has chosen Serbia, due to the presence of many car parts manufacturers in this country, but also because Serbia has 10% of the world reserves of lithium, utilized to produce the car batteries.
However, ‘Deutsche Welle’ claims that Volkswagen has not made a decision yet, the favourite being nevertheless neighbouring Bulgaria, not Romania, adevarul.ro informs.
In December 2018, sources announced that German car manufacturer Volkswagen is ready to invest in a plant expected to employ some 5,000 people, while sources quoted by Bloomberght.com said the plant will become operational in Turkey in 2022 to produce Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca. Currently, the two models are manufactured by VW in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. Following the replacement to Turkey, VW would produce in the Czech Republic the Passat model. According to the source, the decision was made after the recent improvements of the bilateral relations between Germany and Turkey, ‘Romania Journal’ reported at the time.
In late November, ‘Automobilwoche’ reported that Romania is on the short list for a new Volkswagen plant in Eastern Europe, although initially it was out due to the poor infrastructure and lack of personnel. At the time it was said that a decision hasn’t been made and that Romania and Bulgaria are on the short list to manufacture the two German group’s models.
Analysts said the project could involve 5,000 jobs, an investment of EUR 1 billion and a production to be almost entirely exported.