A new VW plant in Southeast Europe?
Carmaker VW has put its plans to open a new plant in Turkey on ice, citing the Turkish offensive in northern Syria. Although the company is still not officially looking for a new location, several countries are positioning themselves as candidates. While media outlets in Romania and Bulgaria openly court VW's favour, those in Croatia are more restrained.
Everyone would benefit from a plant in Bulgaria
The VW investment would be a blessing not just for Bulgaria but for all European taxpayers, news.bg writes:
“Bulgaria is a net beneficiary of EU funds. An investment of this magnitude would give a huge boost to the Bulgarian economy and reduce the need for EU subsidies in the medium term. For European taxpayers that would be a considerable relief. ... It is estimated that VW's investment alone could raise Bulgaria's GDP by three percent.”
Romania can make dreams come true
All doors would be open to VW in Romania, student Marc Damian writes, highlighting the advantages of his country in Ziarul Financiar:
“VW, people will tell you that Romania has no motorways and suffers from a shortage of skilled workers. That is true to a certain extent for 2019. But it will be another three to four years before the plant goes into operation once the decision is taken. ... And in that time 300 to 400 kilometres of motorway can be built. ... You say where you want it and that's where it will be built. Today motorways are being built whose routes were partially determined by Ford and Renault, so present your demands. And in three to four years' time, two to three thousand skilled workers will be trained for the car industry.”
Hands off this assembly line production
There should be no attempt to secure the VW plant for Croatia, Vecernji list finds:
“When international corporations build their plants in undeveloped or developing countries they expect lower wages and costs and only outsource routine tasks with minimal added value. They keep those with high added value - technology research and development, planning, production management, marketing, distribution and services - for themselves. This is not something Croatia should celebrate or aspire to simply because the ruling politicians don't know better. Trying to attract and support assembly line operations, even in car manufacturing, is undoubtedly a mistaken populist industrial policy for Croatia today.”
Morals have become a key criterion
It's new for moral considerations to play a role in a company's decision to set up shop in a country, Handelsblatt comments:
“From the company's point of view there are many reasons to choose Turkey as a business location. ... Ten years ago such a decision would probably have been made in a single supervisory board meeting. But today managers must prepare themselves for the fact that their stakeholders - customers, shareholders, employees - and the media and social networks expect them to display moral responsibility. Sometimes it's just a question of whether the timing is right or wrong. No one made a fuss when Mercedes opened a new plant in Russia in April. But now that criticism of Turkey is growing because of its military offensive, Volkswagen must react.”