Could Croatia Attract Volkswagen? Yes, If it Doesn’t Blow its Chances…

Lauren Simmonds

Asked how he assesses Croatia’s prospects of attracting a large investment, especially important because what is in question is a propulsive industry, Croatian entrepreneur Branko Roglić emphasised the fact that it depends solely on whether or not Croatia will do everything necessary to actually set itself apart and as such be selected for this project.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of October, 2019, Mate Rimac is a great Croatian innovator, and I’m 100 percent sure that thanks to his involvement and business activities in the field of electric cars, which is growing by 10 percent per year, has drawn the attention of global players from the automotive industry to the possibility of investing and launching new projects in Croatia.

This was stated by the respected Croatian entrepreneur Branko Roglić, the owner of Orbic, which operates in twenty countries and employs more than 8,000 workers, generating more than two billion euros in revenue. As one of the founders of the Croatian Employers Association (HUP), as well as an active member and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Roglić welcomes Rimac’s membership within HUP.

“I believe that Rimac, by with his results in the production of electric cars, contributes to the possibility of Croatia becoming a place where the big car industries can realise their business plans,” stated Roglić encouragingly.

The understandable reaction, which is more or less HUP’s rightul congratulations to Croatia’s beloved entrepreneur Mate Rimac on his merits, comes after he just confirmed that a recent meeting attended by Porsche (a member of the VW Group) and Hyundai leaders in Zagreb resulted in the opening of a communication channel between the Croatian Government and some of the big players in the automotive industry. Something hardly imaginable without the likes of Mate Rimac’s involvement.

More astonishing yet, this is an important complement to the latest information from the Ministry of the Economy regarding the confirmation of Croatia’s involvement in a major tender for Volkswagen’s new factory.

The German car giant, as was initially reported by Večernji list, considers Croatia as its potential location for the planned relocation of Passat and Škoda Superb’s production in 2022, in a brand new plant that would produce 300,000 vehicles a year and employ 4,000 people, while existing plants in Germany and the Czech Republic would see the production of electric cars organised.

While the majority of us are likely surprised that any sort of major investment would focus on Croatia, the inclusion of Croatia is no surprise to Roglić, who simply says that everything depends on the country’s true willingness to be chosen.

“The government has to do literally everything possible to attract a strong German investor in an industry that is creating big jobs, high levels of investment and dictating new technological developments. This means that we should follow the recipe of Slovakia, known for its administration having opened the so-called ”big door” precisely to the automotive industry before it entered the EU: it provided it with construction sites that were granted free of charge, as well as the entire infrastructure, and introduced a tax exemption over a period of time. Our government should follow in those steps, because Croatia must not miss this chance,” Roglić warned.

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