The Šiauliai FEZ has welcomed a plant opened by Bär Cargolift, one of Europe’s largest vehicle tail lift manufacturers. It is the first manufacturing branch of this German company to open abroad, which is planning to hire up to 100 members of staff in the coming years. Its annual turnover is estimated to reach 7 million euro at the end of 2022, and up to 20 million euro, in 2025. This German investment made in Šiauliai coincided nicely with the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations being restored between Germany and Lithuania, which is celebrated this year.
A virtual factory opening ceremony was attended by many honourable guests. It saw welcoming statements made by the Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, German Ambassador to Lithuania Matthias Sonn, Šiauliai City Mayor Artūras Visockas and the CEO of ‘Invest Lithuania’ Gediminas Koryzna.
The Bär Cargolift plant is one of the major investments both in the Šiauliai FEZ and in the region as a whole. The company is notable for engineering excellence in the automotive industry, which will draw the attention of other global players to our region too. We have been experiencing interest from Scandinavian and German companies for quite some time, but previously they used to see a shortage of this particular type of competencies in Lithuania. We believe that Bär Cargolift’s decision to invest in our region will encourage other foreign companies to follow suit,” says Giedrius Valuckas, the Chairman of the Board at the Šiauliai FEZ.
The plant has automated folding and laser cutting processes and 5 robotic component welding stations in operation.
A 9.5 thousand sq metre building, which is situated across the area of 3.5 hectares, boasts an A++ energy rating and is equipped with state-of-the-art heating systems that use minimum energy. Manufacturing operations will purchase electricity generated exclusively from renewable energy sources, with some of the necessary energy being generated by a rooftop solar power plant.
There is also a special focus on working conditions: the premises use natural daylight and eye strain free lighting, while proper ventilation and air temperature are ensured by automatic ventilation and air circulation systems.
The investments made in the Šiauliai FEZ reached 10 million euro. At present, the plant employs around 40 members of staff and is expected to increase the number to 100 at a later point. Mostly these include metalworking professionals and equipment operators. In the future, it is planned to expand the constructor division to encompass external projects and establish an IT centre to develop technological and engineering solutions concerning the smartest tail lift controls.
Mr Valuckas says that the main objective of the Šiauliai FEZ is to attract not only the investors themselves, but also new competencies that function in synergy with the existing ones, thus creating greater added value.
It is symbolic that the opening of this German capital plant coincided with the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations being restored between Germany and Lithuania, which is celebrated this year. To mark this occasion, Šiauliai City cultural, research, sports and business bodies have been sharing their friendship experiences with German partners and are planning joint activities for the future.
The German company Bär Cargolift, which develops and manufactures vehicle tail lifts for loading goods, designed for trucks and trailers, is the second largest tail lift manufacturer in Europe. Its output is more than 15 thousand tail lifts annually. The company’s main market is Europe with operations planned to be expanded to North America, South Africa and Australia. The company’s main partners are Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Iveco, Scania and Schmitz Cargobull, while its European customers include McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Lidl, Aldi, Intermarche and others.