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June, 2018

Traditional and progressive: Oskar Rüegg Bulgaria celebrates 7,000 m² plant expansion

 

On 01.06.2018, Oskar Rüegg Bulgaria celebrated the opening of its new plant extension in Stara Zagora with folk dancing and a rock band. We have had a facility in Bulgaria since 2007 – back then, a total of 15 staff undertook the manual production of assemblies for our company’s customers. Today – eleven years later – the plant on the Upper Thracian Plain now employs more than 200 people and recorded revenue growth of 20 percent last year alone. The portfolio has steadily evolved: in addition to producing assemblies, the plant also now offers vaporised aluminium coatings and component cleaning, as well as a number of industrial services.

In order to accommodate our rapid growth, construction began on a 3,100 m² extension in 2016. “Our old plant gradually became too small,” explains Yasen Kumanov, Account Manager at our Bulgarian subsidiary. “During the last two years, we’ve acquired more and more projects inside and outside the automotive sector – both internally via our parent company and externally, especially assembly production.” In future, the portfolio will also include the production of stamping parts. So we have built a new production hall and warehouse, totalling 2,700 m², as well as 400 m² of office space – thereby doubling the size of the original facility. In 2017, after just over a year, the construction work was successfully completed.

 

 

1 The opening ceremony was followed by traditional singing and dancing.

 

The Management Team invited a total of 250 guests to the grand opening of the new building, including staff from both Bulgaria and Switzerland, as well as customers and official dignitaries. The large number of attendees enjoyed a colourful programme: a short reception from 2.30 to 3.00 pm was followed by the formal opening with a speech by Managing Director, Eduard Häny. The building was then dedicated – according to Bulgarian tradition – and the ceremony ended with a song.

 

2 Numerous guests were encouraged to join in the dancing.

 

Then it was the turn of the VIPs to speak. These included Nicole Wyrsch, Deputy Ambassador at the Swiss Embassy in Bulgaria, the Regional Governor, Mrs Gergana Mikova, and the Deputy Mayor of Stara Zagora, Mrs Krasimira Chahova. All three were satisfied with the site’s development and pleased with Oskar Rüeggs’s involvement in the region. For example, our company supports the community’s economic development by offering qualified training opportunities for pupils and students.

 

During the casual part of the evening, a local club led traditional folk dancing and encouraged numerous guests to join in the dancing. Häny then cut the ribbon, together with the guests of honour. Finally, the evening drew to a relaxed close with cocktails and an open dance floor, complete with rock band. “All our guests seemed very happy with our organisation – all in all, a great celebration,” says Kumanov.

 

3 Häny cut the ribbon, together with the guests of honour.

 

The extension opens up new development opportunities for Oskar Rüegg Bulgaria: for example, we aim to purchase additional presses for the production of stamping parts, along with laser welding systems, thereby expanding our product range. In the long-term, we expect double-digit revenue growth and a steady increase in the workforce. “With the extension, the building can now accommodate up to 400 staff – and if this is no longer enough, there is also the option of another new 3,000 m² extension,” explains Kumanov. But first, Oskar Rüegg plans to open a third factory: in recent months, initial steps have been taken to develop a site in Mexico. This will allow American customers to benefit from more comprehensive services and a local market presence.

 

4 250 guests attended the memorable event.