Made in Croatia

American Trains Run Thanks to a Company from Sveti Martin

By 29 October 2015

A Croatian company quietly providing rail components to an increasing international clientele.

Te-Pro company from Sveti Martin na Muri is one of those which the public probably has never heard about, even though their products, 97 percent of which are exported, are ubiquitous. Te-Pro produces a wide range of parts for various industries, but they are mostly known for chassis components for trains and rail vehicles, reports on October 28, 2015.

The largest part of their production is sold to Austria, but they have important customers from the United States and Brazil as well. Although they are a part of the Austrian metallurgical group Ferrotechnik, the company in Croatia operates independently and employs more than 250 people. Director Zlatko Rafaj explains that Te-Pro was founded 10 years ago. "When Ferrotechnik from Graz in mid-2000s reached the ceiling of its production capacity, they needed to expand. There was a variety of options, but since I was employed at the company for years, we brought the company to Croatia. Since I am from Mursko Središće, my original wish was to bring the plant to my town. However, the conditions offered by the then newly-opened entrepreneurial zone in Sveti Martin were very good and that is the reason why we came here. We were the first investors here and had as much room as we wanted. So far, we have built seven plants, and there are plans for further investments", Rafaj explains.

For the last few years, Te-Pro is generating revenue of about 125 million kuna a year, or about 16 million euros. Expectations for this year are at the level of last year, and in 2016 the revenues should grow by 10-15 percent. They are already seriously considering expansion of existing capacities, as well as the opening of new factories in the region, probably in Serbia. Stronger development is also difficult due to labor shortages. "After the opening of borders, many quality workers went to Western European countries. This is particularly the case with high-quality engineers", Rafaj explains.

Te-Pro produces about 4,000 different products made of high quality steel. The largest part of the production is linked to the trains and trams industry, but in recent years they do more and more work for wind turbines. One of their main buyers is Siemens, especially its division of railway vehicles in Graz. The company says they have no major problems with the competition. "We have the knowledge and equipment to fulfill every wish and need of our customers, which are often very demanding. The quality and delivery times are two things which are the most important in this business because without them you cannot be successful.”