The Hansgrohe Group continues to focus on growth with the opening of a new faucets factory in Serbia, which it believes will strengthen its European manufacturing network and help secure supply chains.
The new plant in Valjevo, Serbia, opened on June 27 and was built over the past year at a cost of €85 million (£73m). It will manufacture bathroom and kitchen fittings and is part of Hansgrohe Group’s ongoing strategy for growth.
The opening ceremony was attended by Hans Jürgen Kalmbach, CEO Hansgrohe SE, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia, Anke Konrad.
Commenting on the opening, chairman of the executive board of Hansgrohe SE Hans Jürgen Kalmbach said: “With this investment, we are strengthening our manufacturing network in Europe. The factory is part of our global manufacturing strategy to keep supply chains and transport routes short and safe.”
Hansgrohe relies on a high level of in-house manufacturing expertise for its products and Kalmbach added: “With our employees at all locations, we fulfil our high-quality promise and thus ensure the satisfaction of our customers. The factory in Serbia further strengthens our valve competency. Now we have additional capacity, especially for the European market, to be close to our customers.”
The Valjevo factory is located on a 130,000sq metre site 100km south-west of the capital Belgrade and is said to be the most sustainable factory in the Hansgrohe Group, with a photovoltaic system on the roof, a combined heat and power plant to generate electricity, greywater toilets and triple-glazed windows.
Hansgrohe chief production officer Frank Semling added: “We have looked at locations around the world. Valjevo offers us the best overall package. This includes both the availability of skilled workers and suppliers. In addition, Serbia has an association agreement with the European Union, which means that internationally high standards apply to investments such as ours. At the same time, the infrastructure is convincing. From the new location, we can serve the increasing demand for our products in Europe better and faster.”
The new Serbian plant will mainly concentrate on Hansgrohe-branded products, while the recently modernised Schiltach plant will focus on Axor products. Faucets are also produced in its factory in Shanghai, and there are other factories in Willstätt, Offenburg (plastics) and Bad Bentheim in Germany, Wasselonne on France and Atlanta in the USA.
The company has also invested €30m in a new plastics electroplating facility in Offenburg.