Bulgaria catches an automotive glimmer of hope image

While the East-European country is the poorest of all nations that form the European Union, lately the automotive industry is lending a hand in changing that.

The country is now increasingly becoming a “target” for auto parts suppliers seeking to invest and build new plants, taking advantage of both the geographical position, at the border between Asia and Europe and of lower wages.

“The industry is growing, and the interest is growing too,” said Till Truckenmueller, the chairman of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, an industry group. “There are decisions by the big players in the past several years to have new plants here. We are also working on bringing a car manufacturer here,” he adds. “Be sure, if we convince one, then the automotive industry here will explode.”

Among suppliers, we could name Magna or Johnson Controls, while the latest is Witte Automotive, a German company that has contracts to supply parts to automakers like Ford Motor.

Also, in 2012, Bulgaria became the first European country to see a factory from China’s Great Wall Motor, set in Lovech, northern Bulgaria, through a joint-venture with local Litex Motor. For now, the factory builds 50,000 Steed pickups from China shipped kits, with sales not going to the European Union nations.

Via Automotive NEws Europe