Gorenje expanding fridge and freezer production in Serbia
The existing plant in north-eastern Serbia, which employs around 1,500 people, produced 672,000 units last year.
Following the ongoing relocation of what is the last remaining production line for built-in refrigerators in Velenje, the Valjevo plant's capacity will increase by 150,000 units a year. The recloation is expected to be completed in April.
In 2020, Gorenje intends to start building an additional production hall for refrigerators and freezers, which is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs and increase the capacity by an additional 750,000 units a year.
With the expansion, the Valjevo location will become the cooling appliances centre of Hisense in Europe, Gorenje said in a press release on Monday.
It added that a production line for dishwashers would be installed instead of the production line for built-in refrigerators in Velenje.
Hisense announced at the beginning of March it intended to open a television plant adjacent to the current Gorenje complex at the end of 2020 and to employ between 300 and 400 people in the first phase.
In the first phase, the plant is planned to produce around a million units a year, while the next phase (until 2023) envisages annual production of four million TVs and a workforce of around 1,000, Gorenje said today.
The newspaper Dnevnik recently reported that Gorenje is to book a loss of around EUR 100m for last year due to write-offs and revaluation of assets following the acquisition by Hisense.
After the financial restructuring, the new owner will reportedly carry out thorough business restructuring, which includes lay-offs of several hundred employees.
At the end of 2018, the Gorenje group employed 11,084 people, including 6,667 in Slovenia.