There, by the way, and only there they produce these fashionable sports cars, and in addition - a million more per year engines for different Audi. And under the hood of the most expensive production Porsche Cayenne Turbo S all-terrain vehicle, it also means that it was made in Germany. This is true, but only by half, because at the plant in Leipzig it was assembled from large units: a ready-made body assembly, engine, chassis … Which were mostly made at the Volkswagen plant in the Slovak city of Kolin. Where, by the way, the Tuareg all-terrain vehicles and the Polo compact car are also produced. And buyers all over Europe (and the world too) do not pick and choose when buying, wondering: “Where was the car assembled? Where where? Show on the map! No, I won’t take it …”They take it, they don’t complain!
GREAT MOVEMENT TO THE EAST
They say it all started with pure chance. When the “Iron Curtain” fell between Western Europe and the countries of the former socialist camp in the late 80s, it was not businessmen and politicians who first went to Eastern Europe, but young people - to see how they live, what they breathe. In the old Hungarian city of Esztergom, a student music party formed at that time - young people lived in a camp, sang songs in different languages … Among them was an inconspicuous young man from Japan, who stayed in the town for several weeks. And so he conquered him, that upon returning to his homeland, he persuaded his uncle, the head of the Japanese Suzuki corporation, to build a car factory in Hungary! It happened in 1989 …
So it was one way or another, but after the first assembly plant, car factories in Eastern Europe began to grow like mushrooms. After 15 years, almost all major manufacturers have acquired at least one plant here. Moreover: now some have even elevated Eastern Europe to the rank of "new Detroit." Indeed, today it is one of the fastest growing car manufacturing centers in the world (in terms of growth rates it is second only to China). Over the past 10 years, investors in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania have invested about $ 24 billion in car assembly and component production!
But if at first, in the very beginning of the 90s, western (and eastern) manufacturers opened small assembly plants in Poland and Hungary to conquer local growing markets, now the goal has changed. No, local markets are still growing, car sales are increasing year by year, but the main goal of creating “eastern Detroit” has long been different. This is the market of Western Europe, where 14.5 million new cars are bought annually (compared to 1 million in Central and Eastern Europe). And, having tightened up, already next year the "eastern" car assembly enterprises will produce 2.3 million cars, and by 2010 the output should grow to 3.8 million units.
The "heart" of the newly-minted Detroit, no doubt, beats somewhere between the Czech Republic and Slovakia (already in 2007 almost 2 million cars will be assembled here!). These two republics, as it were, organized a competition - who will be able to attract more auto investment? At first, the Czech Republic was in the lead, which in the former Czechoslovakia was not without reason considered industrial. However, the “agrarian” Slovakia soon also managed to offer investors attractive conditions, took up the construction of modern roads. The result - in 2007, this small country will come out on top in the world in the production of cars per capita (one car for every six inhabitants!). Recently, the Slovaks “furnished” the West European Volkswagen plants, gaining the right to produce the new Audi Q7 all-terrain vehicle. Next year, the French concern PSA intends to launch a plant worth $ 1.3 billion in the Slovak town of Tyrnava. The 3, 000 people employed there will collect 300, 000 small cars a year. KIA invested $ 1.3 billion in an enterprise of the same size in the Slovak city of Zilina. This plant will work in 2006, is designed to produce class C cars and all-terrain vehicles, and another 3, 000 people will find work on it; in turn, 5, 000 seats will be provided by component suppliers. But this is not all: as the media recently reported, Hyundai Corporation is considering the possibility of building its second plant in Europe - the European market. According to some reports, Koreans are particularly interested in the Czech Republic …
HERR PANU NOT A COMRADE
It is clear that all serious global players in the automotive markets are attracted to Eastern Europe not only by reasonable investment legislation and the political stability of these countries. The main thing is the presence of a highly skilled, but at the same time not too expensive and yet accommodating labor force. According to corporate leaders, too many rights and freedoms have been won in the social struggle by their comrades in the West! An industry worker in this part of the continent earns an average of $ 29 per hour (one of the highest rates in the world). At Volkswagen factories, it is even higher - almost $ 50 per hour (with a 28-hour work week!). The administration is obliged to coordinate any change in the work schedule (such as overtime, but for an additional fee) with the trade unions, and they are extremely reluctant to give their permission. And in Slovakia, a worker of the same qualification gets … $ 6 per hour, works 40 hours a week and will be happy to go on the assembly line on Saturday, and the union will not particularly mind! In general, in Eastern Europe, the cost of labor in the automotive industry ranges from 3 to 6 dollars per hour. Need more reasons?