Fiat suppliers open two factories in central Serbia

KRAGUJEVAC -- American company Johnson Controls on Wednesday opened a factory for the production of car seats in Kragujevac, central Serbia.


Together with the company Magneti Marelli Johnson Controls also apened another plant which produces car interiors.

Both factories, which employ a total of 300 people and operate as suppliers for Fiat Automobili Srbija (FAS) making parts for the Fiat 500L, which launched production in July last year.

Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy Mlađan Dinkić said at the opening ceremony that the automobile industry will be the driving force of economic growth in Serbia this year.

According to Dinkić, FAS and its suppliers are expected to bring in EUR 2 billion in revenue this year.

Dinkić said Serbia's export will go up 25 percent, and one fifth of the total export will come from Fiat and its suppliers in Kragujevac.

"Serbia is in a difficult economic position, but the first signals of recovery were visible in December with a rise in industrial output, thanks mainly to the major growth in the automobile industry," he said.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Italian and U.S. embassies, the city of Kragujevac, Johnson Controls and Fiat.

U.S. Ambassador Michael Kirby said the government's commitment to attracting foreign investments is very important and these two factories show what investments can do for the Serbian economy.

Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio said Serbia has great potential and companies choose to invest there precisely because they believe it offers numerous business opportunities.

FAS CEO Antonio Cesare Ferrara said the company's suppliers employ a total of 1,200 people, and over 67 percent of the parts for the needs of FAS are produced in Serbia.