US auto-parts maker Lear Corp. said on Tuesday it would invest €25 million ($34 million) in Slovakia to build a factory to manufacture automobile seats.
The company also corrected a statement made earlier on Tuesday by the eastern Slovak town of Presov, the location of the new factory, that Lear investment would reach some 2.3 billion crowns ($93 million). The factory will initially employ 500 people and production is scheduled to start in the Q4 of 2007. The government has been seeking to draw investors to the Presov area, where unemployment runs at 12.46%, well above the national jobless rate of 9.2%. „This region is the car sector's region of growth and there were three factors for Lear when choosing this site: people, the possibility to grow in the region and the region's economic attractiveness,” said James Brackenbury, Lear's senior vice president and president of European operations. The auto sector has become the key driver of the EU member's economy. Other major car makers in Slovakia include Volkswagen, Kia Motors Corp. and PSA Peugeot Citroen. The three plants together are expected to make Slovakia the world's bigger car producer per capita, with a projected annual output of over 840,00 units by 2012. (reuters.com)