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21:16 PM Thursday, May 25, 2017
Industry
German Seat Belt Manufacturer Eyes Big Investment in Lviv
Free trade draws Germans to join French and Japanese in making car parts in Western Ukraine
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

LVIV — One year after Ukraine’s free trade pact started with the European Union, one more foreign car parts maker is leaving the EU to set up production in Western Ukraine. Last year saw Japan’s Fujikura, Germany’s Bader and France’s Nexans open factories here.

“A German car seat belt producer plans to open a plant next year and hire 2,000 workers,” Oleh Syniutka, Chairman of Lviv’s Regional State Administration, said after meeting with representatives of Jones Lang Lasalle, the real estate consultancy that is helping the investor secure an industrial site.

Neither Syniutka nor a Jones Lang representative would name the manufacturer, saying it is confidential as talks are underway.

Plan to More than Double Payroll

Syniutka, the Lviv regional administrator, said the German company plans to open more factories in Western Ukraine, to produce cars parts and airbags.

“For this, the company will recruit additionally 3,000 workers,” he said.

Last year Fujikura, a Japanese car parts manufacturer, opened two plants west of Lviv city, just off the M10 highway to Poland. Jorge Garcia, Vice President of Fujikura Automotive Europe, predicted the total workforce of the two plants will hit 6,000 this year.

Bader Ukraine, a German car upholstery producer for Audi and BMW, now employs 1,700 workers for its plant. It is located 20 km west of Lviv, also on the M10 highway to Poland.

These companies joined Leoni, a German competitor to Fujikura, which has been working in Lviv oblast for the last 14 years. Leoni employs 6,000 people in its plant in the suburbs of Stryi, a Lviv city two hours by truck from the Polish border. Now, it is building a second factory, in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Lviv’s neighbor to the east.

“Everybody believes that Audi and Volkswagen are producing in Germany, but they are mistaken,” said Syniutka, the Lviv regional administrator. “The biggest part of its production belongs to Ukraine.”

French to hire 2,000

Meanwhile, Nexans, a French cable producer for Audi and Volkswagen, is investing $3.1 million in Brody, a Lviv oblast city 100 km east of here. The factory is to open this summer and employ 2,000 workers.

With wage rates one quarter of Poland, Ukraine is drawing more and more investors to study manufacturing opportunities here. One attraction of Lviv is geography. The oblast borders Poland and is 1,300 km west of the separatist conflict zone in the nation’s southeast.


For comments and news tips, please email UBJ Western Ukraine Correspondent Sasha Kharchenko at sasha.kharchenko@theubj.com

Photo: Bader, a German car upholstery producer, recently opened a plant near Lviv city. (Credit: Bader Ukraine).

Photo: Lviv regional authorities discuss the new German investment with representatives of Jones Lang Lasalle, the real estate consultancy (Credit: Lviv Regional Administration)

Posted Feb. 9, 2017

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