German carmaker Volkswagen AG started production in former Yugoslavia by entering a joint venture named Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo (TAS) in 1972.Sarajevo's state-controlled joint venture employed 3,500 and was 51% owned by Unis, one of Yugoslavia's industrial conglomerates. At its peak the TAS plant was producing between 35,000 and 40,000 vehicles a year, mainly VW Golfs and Caddy pick-ups. The joint venture imported car kits for local assembly and sale in the Yugoslav market.
In return, Yugoslav components producers supplied parts to VW plants in Germany. Production stopped when civil war broke out in 1992. Volkswagen revived ties with its pre-war partner, Unis Holding, and in August 1998 opened VW Sarajevo, a joint venture between Unis and Volkswagen. VW took a 58% stake in Volkswagen Sarajevo effectively in exchange for pre-war debts it was owed by the old TAS joint venture. Unis had to contribute new capital to gain its 42% stake, initially DEM 5.0 million and later a further DEM 15 million. Volkswagen Sarajevo was declared a customs-free zone in 1999 by the state government. In September 2001, Bosnia's privatisation agency sold the Unis stake in the joint venture to the local arm of Slovenian car seat-covers maker Prevent for USD 995,800. Volkswagen resumed the so-called semi-knocked down (SKD) assembly of Volkswagen and Skoda models at Volkswagen Sarajevo in July 2002. The SKD kits for the car models are transported semi-finished to the Vogosca factory, Bosnia's only car making operation, where they are fully assembled. Volkswagen Sarajevo, which had an output of some 3,500 units in mid-2004, sells cars only in Bosnia, controlling around 50% of the market. The factory's revenue in 2003 jumped to EUR 14 million from EUR 5.5 million in 2002. Its 2004 revenue from car part exports totalled KM 180 million.
Igmanska Br. 36 Str.
Sarajevo - Center; Sarajevo; Postal Code: 71000
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