A good example
Ydria Motors was first established in 1993 as a joint venture between German firm Alcatel SEL and Slovene partner Rotomatika d.o.o., Spodnja Idrija. In September 2001, the business became entirely German owned when ebm-papst - Alcatel SEL's successor company - bought out Rotomatika's share.
As an organisation with an international customer base, and one operating with fierce worldwide competition, ebm-papst's long-term strategy has been to strengthen its international manufacturing bases. When the time came to construct a new facility for the manufacture of tangential blowers and hot-air convection fans, many locations were considered. Hungary and the Czech Republic were both on the short list. But, thanks to its good base of young, well-skilled technical and commercial experts and a network of local sub-suppliers for components and manufacturing equipment Slovenia quickly became the leading contender. Other advantages were the country's geographic location and well-developed infrastructure.
There was only one main drawback: the country's relatively high cost of labour. It was an issue that was quickly addressed thanks to government incentives. An Inward Investment Cost-Sharing Grant from the Republic of Slovenia made it much easier for ebm-papst to limit the impact of the higher labour costs - and capitalise on the many advantages the country offers.
And so the decision to base the new facility in Slovenia was made. It was a decision that created 124 new jobs - bringing Ydria Motors' overall workforce to more than 500 people. It now produces over ten million items per year and generates more than EUR 40m in sales. It's safe to say its Slovenian story has been one of success.