Slovenian appliance maker Gorenje started the year with the announcement from chairman Franjo Bobinac that it was shopping for new acquisitions in Eastern and Western Europe, and was on an ambitious growth path.
During the year, the company opened a logistics center and a dealership in Bulgaria, as well as an outlet in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia-Montenegro. In May, Bobinac told news weekly Demokracija that it intends to expand production abroad and that 10 percent of its production already was happening in the Czech Republic, a result of its acquisition of Mora Moravia, a.s., in Mariánské Údolí in the Czech Republic, at the end of 2004.
He said more production expansion will occur in no less than four locations.
Approximately 90 percent of the company's market is in Europe. Bobinac estimated that doubling its market share in Europe would give the company 7 percent to 8 percent of the market, which could make it the fifth-largest appliance company in the market.
The company officially opened its new refrigerators and freezers plant in Valjevo, Serbia, on Oct. 16, 2006 with a total investment of approximately 20 million euros (approx. U.S. $25 million). The first chest freezer left the factory, which employs 330 people, on Sept. 15. According to forecasts, production will reach 50,000 units in 2006 and 400,000 in 2007. The plant will manufacture appliances for all Gorenje brands and markets worldwide. By establishing production in Serbia, Gorenje has acquired the local manufacturer status as part of the strategy to create the conditions that will enable the company to protect its market shares in the long-term.
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