Hopes for new investor after Adient shutdown

Slovenj Gradec – The government is hoping to find a new investor for a location in Slovenj Gradec that the US company Adient plans to shut down at the end of the year at a loss of 430 jobs. “I’m optimistic, we have several interested parties for the continuation of production,” Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Tuesday.

The plan is to leverage the act on investment promotion and the act on regional development in order to find new investors interested in the location. “The reason I’m particularly confident that this is feasible is that we’re talking about skilled workers here,” he said.

The statement came after Počivalšek and Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj held a conference call with Adient executives as part of efforts to help the workers.

Cigler Kralj said the government was determined to do everything it could to preserve as many jobs as possible, including through retraining programmes.

Several companies from the region are expected to help as well. The Velenje-based appliance maker Gorenje Hisense has indicated it could hire some of Adient’s workers, as has plastics maker Plastika Skaza, which is also based in Velenje.

Boštjan Gorjup, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), was optimistic “a solution will be found for quite a few employees”.

His wish is that an investor come to Slovenj Gradec and take over at least a portion of the staff at the location. “In the following months we’ll work hard to arrive at this solution,” he said.

Adianet, a US-based multinational, announced last week the company would shut down its Slovenj Gradec location by the end of the year saying that “Slovenia is no longer considered a best cost country”.