The Slovenia Times

Golob and car industry reps agree on EUR 30m in annual support from state


Brnik - Prime Minister Robert Golob announced EUR 30 million in annual government support to what he labelled a strategic industry for the country as he met with members of the Slovenian automotive cluster on Wednesday.

The meeting, featuring industry representatives, Golob and seven cabinet ministers, focused on the GREMO - GREen MObility initiative that includes 11 major Slovenia automotive suppliers that employ 14,300 people.

Hidria CEO Iztok Seljak, who coordinates the initiative, explained the leading car industry representatives in the country jointly acknowledged last year that an adaptation to expected new legislative frameworks related to green mobility were vital.

The Gremo Mission lays down ultra-high-efficiency electric motor drives, high-efficiency battery storage and extra-lightweight materials of the future as key product pillars for development.

"This is what the industry will invest more than half a billion euros a year into in the coming years. Another EUR 200 million will go into premises and new infrastructure," Seljak announced.

The initiative will also be supported by the government, which will work with the industry to prepare a starting package involving EUR 30 million per year between 2023 and 2027.

Golob, who hopes there will be additional investment from the state, said the most developed European countries faced development challenges, including during crisis times, by selecting and supporting strategic industries that had the greatest potential in global terms.

"Crisis management on the one hand and accelerated investment in development on the other is the only key to the survival of our economy," said Golob, adding the goal was keeping Slovenia among the best in the world in this sector in the years and decades to come.

Seljak spoke of an investment into "a positive spiral of further Slovenian development". The investment will be reimbursed soon - in 2019 the cluster contributed EUR 300 million to the state budget through taxes and other levies; this year, the amount will already be EUR 350 million, and with further development it will exceed half a billion euros.

"While we may have thought that the pre-corona sales of EUR 3.5 billion in 2019 would be difficult to surpass soon, this year we will record EUR 5.1 billion in sales. In partnership with the state, we aim to exceed EUR 7.5 billion in the next five or six years by focusing on development, innovative projects to deliver the green electric mobility of the future," he added, arguing the industry was proving impervious to ever new crises.

Meanwhile, Golob also touched on Revoz, the Reanult-owned Novo mesto-based car maker, not participating in the GREMO initiative, expressing regret and suggesting the issue was the absence of a clear strategy for Revoz on the part of the French owner, which is in a restructuring phase.

"We raised this issue in Paris and are now arranging for a direct visit by the minister to Renault to try to be a interlocutor as a state in the vision for the development of this location," the prime minister explained.


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