Media Claim Hyundai Planning to Start Car Production in Croatia

By 5 December 2018

ZAGREB, December 5, 2018 - Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Wednesday that he still had not received confirmation that Hyundai was coming to start car production in Croatia and announced that in a few days' time he would present two action plans to the cabinet aimed at removing or simplifying more than 300 different regulations.

Asked by reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting whether it was true that Hyundai was planning to come to Varaždin, Horvat said that at the moment there was no confirmation that any reputable car manufacturer planned to come to Croatia but added that he had contacted five key actors in the automobile industry and that Hyundai was among them.

The Jutarnji List daily on Wednesday reported that the South Korean automobile producer Hyundai has for two months been considering the possibility of launching production in Croatia. Hyundai would most probably build its plant in the Varaždin area and the plant would produce complete vehicles and not just car parts.

Commenting on the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) relative optimism regarding 2019, Horvat said that the government and all stakeholders on the political scene, too, shared that same optimism. He added that negative trends had been reversed but that he was not satisfied about growth rates and that in 2019 he expected further mild improvement.

HUP on Tuesday presented its annual Barometer of Optimism which shows that the majority of Croatian employers (51%) believe that the economic situation next year will remain about the same as this year while 34% consider that it will be a little better.

Asked to comment on criticism from HUP about excessive taxes, Horvat recalled that according to Eurostat data, Croatia's tax burden is ranked "fourth from the bottom in the EU28."

"I agree with them when they claim that there are too many administrative procedures and non-tax levies, and the two action plans that we will present to the cabinet in the next few days are designed to either abolish or simplify more than 300 different administrative measures and regulations and abolish or decrease some non-tax levies."

For more on the Croatian car industry, click here.