German auto line, connector and assembly producer VOSS Automotive plans to establish a manufacturing operation to produce car components in the north of Bulgaria.
The producer, based at Wipperfürth, north of Cologne, Germany, is understood to have signed a long term lease on a 12,225m2 plant and administrative building close to the Bulgarian town of Lovech.
After searching for a suitable site in towns across northern Bulgaria, VOSS chose the former kit car manufacturing plant of Chinese vehicle builder Great Wall Motors and its local partner Litex Motors, closed down last year after Litex filed for bankruptcy.
VOSS, which produces a range of parts including plastics and metal fuel and coolant lines, fittings and ‘quick connect’ systems for commercial vehicles and passenger cars, intends to launch production mainly of car components by June 2019, according to the Lovech municipal authority.
Initially, the company, which will invest around €7m, is reported to be planning to hire a workforce of around 750, working three shifts at the plant. VOSS is expected gradually to increase the number of employees in Lovech to 1,000 as the new business takes off, according to regional media.
The VOSS Automotive, one of two VOSS Holding group divisions, serves multinational automotive customers including Volkswagen, MAN and Audi along with Chrysler, GM and Navistar. Its technology includes plastics injection moulding, tube extrusion, metal pressing and electroplating.
In September 2013, VOSS Automotive launched a new 1,100m2 Polymer Technology Centre at Wipperfürth to develop innovative plastic products while optimising process workflow in series production. At its heart is a complex extruder line with several processing stations for the production of tubing lines.
At the start of this year, the group’s total workforce numbered more than 5,100 with production plants, not just at Wipperfürth, but also in Poland, Brazil, Mexico, India and China.
VOSS recorded annual sales in 2017 worth €545m, an increase on its turnover the previous year which amounted to almost €450m.