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One of the biggest European manufacturers of household appliances, Gorenje, officially opened a new plant for the production of refrigerators and freezers in Valjevo, Serbia, on Oct. 16, 2006. The total investment is valued at 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 this year and 400,000 next year. 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. At the same time, Gorenje has started building a wide network of local suppliers. This effectively means that in addition to creating jobs at the new plant, numerous other jobs are being created with suppliers all over Serbia. The ribbon was cut by Chairman of the Gorenje Management Board Franjo Bobinec and the Serbian Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Milan Parivodić.

In August 2004 Gorenje purchased a lot in the industrial zone in Valjevo. The construction of the refrigerator and freezer plant got underway on Mar. 1, 2006 and was completed on Sept. 13. Production is being implemented gradually, starting with chest freezers on Sept. 15, which was followed by 500 mm wide refrigerators-freezers the next week; the 540 mm line will open in January 2007. At present, 330 people are employed at Gorenje's Valjevo plant; however, along with growing production volumes this number will keep increasing until 2007.

In addition to the factory and the warehouse, the premises will also include a modern showroom and sales center, Studio Gorenje. The Studio will feature the entire range of Gorenje products for the home including small and large household appliances, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, entertainment electronics, and air conditioning units. The plant, which employs cutting-edge technology on par with that at the mother company in Velenje, will turn out 840 products every day, with the targeted annual production capacity of 1 million appliances by 2010. The plant will manufacture appliances for all Gorenje brands and markets worldwide.

Gorenje's strategic plan until 2010 provides for the production capacities in Slovenia to remain at the present level with growth to be generated abroad. The first step towards the internationalization of the production of household appliances was the takeover of Czech manufacturer of cooking appliances, Mora Moravia, at the end of 2004. In 2006 Gorenje will manufacture 3.7 million household appliances in total and generate over 1.1 billion euros (approx. $1.4 billion) in sales revenue. In the future Gorenje will continue to consolidate its presence and market shares in the European markets and keep achieving ambitiously set targets

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