Four Croatian Counties to Build Car Factory?

Total Croatia News

Plans are bold as usual, but it is not clear who would be the investor and what would the factory actually produce.

Prefect of Varaždin County Predrag Štromar took advantage of the visit by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to Varaždin last week to present an idea he has been thinking about for several years. He believes that northern Croatia would be an ideal location to build a car factory which would employ between 2,500 and 3,000 workers, reports Večernji List on December 19, 2016.

“In the last several years, potential investors in the car industry in Croatia were received by prime ministers, county prefects and representatives of agencies for investment and competitiveness, but no one actually ever decided to build a factory. I think the reason is that we have not been well prepared and we have not conducted an analysis what we should offer to investors and how we would attract them to the country. Now, in the last several months, in Varaždin and surrounding counties we have conducted an analysis of potential locations. Such a project would require at least 150 hectares of land. In four northern counties – Varaždin, Međimurje, Krapina-Zagorje and Koprivnica-Križevci – we have such plots of land, and investors should decide what is the most important element – proximity to motorways, to railway lines or something else”, explained Štromar who is aware that the arrival of a factory which would assemble whole cars, and not just produce individual parts, is too large a project for any single county.

“The first thing is an analysis of potential employees. We have held talks with the Northern University, secondary schools, companies which have excess personnel, and the Croatian Employment Service offices in all four counties. If they would employ between 2,500 and 3,000 people, there would not be enough workers in just one county”, noted Štromar.

Counties, towns and municipalities cannot attract such investors without the help of the government. “Previous prime ministers were not interested, but ten days ago I spoke with current Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and he said he was intrigued by the idea, and the attitude is shared by the President. With the car industry we would get higher salaries, and such complex production processes would help the scientific community as well”, said Štromar.

While Štromar talks about the arrival of a ​​mega-factory for assembling cars, in the neighbouring Međimurje County, in the municipality of Nedelišće, in less than a month a factory should be opened which will produce parts for Mercedes. BMW and Toyota cars for a Slovenian investor. “We have sold them 11,000 square metres of land in the zone between Nedelišce and Dunjkovac. At the beginning, they will employ 50 people, and in several years up to 150 workers”, said Municipal Mayor Darko Dania.


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