Bloomberg News

Yazaki of Japan to Open Second Car-Wiring Plant in Bulgaria

January 31, 2012

(Updates with comment, details from third paragraph.)

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Yazaki Corp., a Japanese maker of automotive parts, plans to start production at a second factory in Bulgaria in July.

The Tokyo-based company bought a textile factory in the city of Sliven and is refurbishing it to produce wiring systems, Max Lang, country manager for Yazaki’s Bulgarian unit, said in a telephone interview from the southern town of Yambol yesterday.

“We plan to have the Sliven factory ready by the middle of the year and start operations in July,” Lang said. “The factory will produce wiring systems for Ford Transit vans.” He declined to discuss financial details.

The Japanese supplier is among car-part producers including Belgian maker of sensor chips Melexis NV and French Montupet SA, who’ve picked Bulgaria for its low labor costs and taxes. Bulgaria weathered the 2009 recession without an international bailout and kept corporate and personal income taxes at 10 percent, the lowest in the European Union.

The Sliven plant will employ 500 people by year end and supply Ford Motor Co., Lang said. Headcount at the plant may reach 1,300 by the end of 2013, he added.

Yazaki has operated since 2006 another wiring factory in Yambol near the Turkish border that employs 2,100 people and supplies Renault SA, Lang said. The company closed one of its two factories in Slovakia in 2010, cutting 1,200 jobs, as the global crisis cut demand for car components.

--Editors: James Kraus, Chris Peterson

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova in Sofia at ekonstantino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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