Inergy Automotive Systems, the new fuel-tank molding venture between France's Cie. Plastic Omnium and Solvay SA, will set up a plant in Lozorno, Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Plastic Omnium of Paris plans to build a molding plant of its own in the same location to supply Volkswagen AG with plastic bumpers.
Inergy and Plastic Omnium announced their respective plans Dec. 14 after reaching preliminary agreements with the Slovak government. Each company signed a letter of intent with Ivan Miklos, the country's deputy prime minister for economic affairs.
By the end of the year, the new Inergy facility is to begin supplying fuel systems for the Volkswagen Polo and two four-wheel-drive vehicles being developed on a common platform by Volkswagen and Porsche at the Volkswagen plant in nearby Bratislava.
The facility will start with 100 employees. At full capacity, Inergy said, it should generate annual sales of 35 million euros ($33 million).
Plastic Omnium's bumper plant will start with 300 employees. Within two years, the facilities together will employ 650, the spokeswoman said.
Both plants will receive financial assistance from the Slovak government, which will pay 60,000 Slovak korunas ($1,280) for each job created and 10,000 korunas ($214) to train each employee. The government also will cover about $598,360 in annual utility costs.
Investment in the two facilities will total 2.5 billion korunas ($53.4 million) during 2001, according to a Slovakian news report that quoted Jean Wirotius, president of Plastic Omnium's exterior automotive components division.
Inergy, which started operating in September, already has Eastern European auto-tank blow molding facilities in Lublin, Poland, and Pitesti, Romania. The company has plants around the world and expects to generate 2001 sales of 1 billion euros ($940 million).
The bumper plant expects to achieve annual sales of more than 40 million euros ($38 million) once the operation is fully running, according to Plastic Omnium.