Automotive giant Magna’s Slovenian plant to be relaunched in early 2022

Hoče – Magna Steyr vice president Erwin Fandl and David Adam, director of the Slovenian Magna plant in Hoče, have informed representatives of the Slovenian government and local authorities that production in Hoče would be relaunched at the start of next year.

Fandl announced on Monday that production would gradually return to the Hoče paint shop after almost a year and a half since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The plant’s employees were told the news at the end of last week, Adam said after today’s meeting, adding that the step was taken due to the positive general situation on the automotive markets.

He said they planned to bring back to Hoče all those employees who had been employed in Slovenia and are now temporarily working at the Graz plant in neighbouring Austria.

Adam did not give exact figures on how many may have left the company in the meantime, noting that most of them had stayed with Magna.

He could also not say whether the plant would continue with bodywork painting for Jaguar, saying this was a decision of Magna Steyr management to be made.

The plant is starting discussions with its biggest suppliers and then the exact plan for the relaunch will be known in a few weeks, he said.

The director of the Hoče plant, Adam, said there was nothing new regarding the plans for the development of the second phase of Magna’s plant on this site. This year Magna became an owner of additional land and is now waiting for the environmental permit procedure to be finalised.

Jernej Salecl, director of the Economy Ministry’s Directorate for Internationalisation, Entrepreneurship and Technology, attended today’s meeting with Magna.

He confirmed the ministry had been informed about the planned restart of production. “We’re of course very pleased about this, as the economic recovery is going on worldwide, including in industrial production, so it is right that production here also starts as soon as possible,” he said.

Magna committed to meet certain targets in exchange for a state incentive, including in terms of the number of employees, when it opened the plant in Slovenia, but these plans have been somewhat slowed down in the meantime due to the pandemic.

Talks with investors about a potential extension of the relevant deadlines due to the impact of the crisis are still ongoing.

Salecl said the procedures for obtaining the environmental permit were proceeding in line with the regulations, adding that Magna had implied it had potential clients for whom the company would be manufacturing vehicles in the future.

It is thus key to do our best to see through the second phase of the project, according to Salecl.

Marko Soršak and Egon Repnik, the mayors of the local municipalities, Hoče-Slivnica and Miklavž, are also happy to see the restart of production.

Repnik said a time frame for the construction of additional sewerage capacities had also been agreed today. Under the agreement, the state has committed to the project.

Repnik added they would like to obtain a building permit in the first half of 2022. The exact cost of the project is not yet known, but it is expected to be around EUR 2 million.

According to Magna’s annual financials posted on the AJPES agency’s website today, the Slovenian plant finished 2020 with a net profit of EUR 1.3 million, while it generated EUR 5.6 million in sales revenue in foreign markets and almost another EUR 14 million in other business revenue.

The year started in line with the business plan, but the epidemic forced the company to suspend production. Until July, the bulk of some 180 employees stopped working, with some on the furlough and short-time work schemes. Later on, most of the employees were sent to work at the Graz plant.