Magna International Inc. has announced that its Magna Seating operating unit has opened a new seat component manufacturing facility in Odžaci, Serbia, which will supply OEM customers including Smart, Renault and Ford.

"For Magna Seating, today represents an exciting step forward in the expansion of manufacturing capacity of our operations in Eastern Europe," said Bernhard Niggemeier, Executive Vice President Europe for Magna Seating. "We are pleased to work together with local and regional leaders to create jobs and opportunity for Odžaci and the neighboring areas, as well as support the growth of our global customers."

With approximately 300 employees and a production area of 4,300 square meters, Magna Seating d.o.o. represents Magna's first manufacturing site in Serbia. Including today's announcement, Magna International will have opened seven facilities in Eastern Europe between 2011 and 2013, to support increased automotive production in the region, the company said.

Magna Seating executives were joined at the grand opening ceremony by Aleksandar Vucic, Vice President of the Government of Serbia, Bojan Pajtic, President of the Government of the Serbian province Vojvodina, Roman Waschuk, the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, and Izabela Šeric, Mayor of Odžaci.

Prior to the opening Magna Seating d.o.o. employees received specialized training to ensure maximum flexibility and efficiency as production ramps up. This training represents an additional investment being made by Magna to help develop the local workforce for the unique automotive manufacturing environment, the company said.