Turkish-owned Odelo Farba Lighting Group has begun constructing the initial plant of a proposed €40.6m production development in Bulgaria to supply German car manufacturers with vehicle lights.
The first facility, taking shape at the Kuklen industrial zone in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv, is scheduled for completion by 2020. Limited production should begin next year and the total site will create 400 jobs by 2023, according to details released by the country’s Economy Ministry.
Early this year, Germany-based Odelo Farba set up a Bulgarian business and bought a 37ha industrial site at Plovdiv where it plans to establish three production units and a supplier park by 2023. The initial plant, to cover around eight hectares, will produce vehicle tail lights for Mercedes-Benz.
Depending on the success of its first Bulgarian plant, Odelo Farba expects to double its capacity in a second lighting identical sized unit on the Plovdiv site. In addition, the firm wants to build another unit to produce electronic parts for its products, as well as creating an area for sub contractors there.
Finally, Odelo Farba is constructing a research and development centre in the Bulgarian capital Sofia where it will employ 40 engineers.
Once the factory is completed, the company group will consider further industrial development on part of the additional land acquired.
Based in Stuttgart, Odelo Farba Lighting Group, with plants already operating in Germany and Slovenia, is part of the Turkish family-run conglomerate Bayraktarlar Holding.
With growing customer demand for new types of lighting products, the group is also expanding the capacity in Slovenia where it has plants at Prebold and Cresnjevci. In July 2017, it inaugurated a new €3.7m 6,600m2 production and logistics hall at the Prebold facility in central Slovenia.
It was in 2011 that Instanbul-based Bayraktarlar acquired Germany’s Odelo automotive lighting company which is now part of its subsidiary Odelo Farba Lighting Group. The Turkish holding has other businesses in the areas of general lighting, vehicle leasing, insurance, construction and tourism.
The Bulgarian operation will be the group’s eighth subsidiary enterprise with a further three factories in Turkey, one in China, one in Germany and two in Slovenia. Its main automotive customers include Audi, Renault, Volkswagen, Fiat, BMW, Ford and Toyota.
Bayraktarlar, which has a 3,580 strong workforce, recorded turnover in 2017 worth around €461m.