Volkswagen is still exploring options for building a new car factory in eastern Europe, and hasn't made any decision yet, Mark Langendorf of the group's communications department said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Blic, according to Romanian media reports.
Profit.ro quoting Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti and unofficial sources, said, however, that the automaker had informally decided on Serbia because of "the favourable economic environment and the multitude of parts suppliers." However, the decisive argument in favor of Serbia was the significant deposits of lithium used in the production of electric vehicle batteries, found in the country, according to the media sources.
Among the states competing for the investment are Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Turkey, romania-insider.com reported.
Last November, Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess said the carmaker was looking for a location for a new multi-brand factory in eastern Europe which was expected to start production after 2022. The investment was estimated at EUR1.4bn. Volkswagen would then shift production of the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca SUVs, currently produced in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, to the new factory which would employ 5,000 people.
Romania currently has two car factories – Dacia at Pitesti and Ford at Craiova.