The Slovenia Times

Auto Cluster Meeting Discussing Future of Industry



Bušen is convinced that the Slovenian automotive industry can provide an answer to this challenge.

"With a perfected technological production, high productivity, quality, cost-effectiveness, close ties with the public research sector and globalisation, it is an equal to the most important suppliers in this important economic branch," he told the meeting in Ljubljana.

Bušen is aware that the environmental aspect is becoming a staple in the further development of the automotive industry and that even stricter requirements regarding CO2 emissions could be expected. "Suppliers have a key role here."

The ACS has been active for more than ten years, associating 64 companies and research institutes with more than 20,300 employees. Its members had a successful first quarter of 2014, with total sales increasing by 3-5%, according to Bušen.

Last year ACS members generated a total of EUR 3.5bn sales revenues, 80% on foreign markets. The cluster members and Slovenian vehicle producers together accounted for 21% of entire Slovenian exports and 10% of the country's GDP.

Mateja Dermastia of the Economy Ministry assessed that the cluster is one of the main driving forces of the Slovenian economy. "The ACS is most certainly a global player," she said, adding that Slovenia needs more such players.

Helmut Becker, the head of the Munich-based Institute for Economic Analysis and Communication said that while the worst crisis in the eurozone is over, the industry will need two to three more years to get out of crisis.

The global automotive industry is growing again, and sales in 2014 are expected to go up 2.14% in comparison to 2013, to 85.37 million vehicles, and by an additional 3.81% to 89.18 million vehicles in 2015, according to him.

Bušen was also asked about how the cluster is doing in Russia since the Ukraine crisis broke out. He said that crisis has so far had no effect on Slovenian suppliers and that they have no intention of pulling out.

He added however that the project aimed at enabling ACS members to enter the Ukrainian market, including the setting up of a sales network there, has been suspended.


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