The Slovenian government is to invest EUR14.3m (US$19.9m) in Renault‘s Revoz factory for the production launch of a new city car, the country’s economy minister said.

Matej Lahovnik said the new vehicle, codenamed X33, to be made in the Novo Mesto factory will be a two-seater city car based on the existing Twingo II. The total investment at the plant will be EUR47.8m (US$66.4m), he added.

The minister said the government was investing the money to ensure Renault continued to build cars at Novo Mesto and to protect local suppliers. In 2007 Slovenia invested 10% of the more than EUR400m (US$555m) that Revoz needed to launch the production of the Twingo II.

Revoz is Slovenia’s largest exporter and the third largest company based on total revenues.