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Recent Study: Serbia Autos Report Q1 2014

Fast Market Research recommends "Serbia Autos Report Q1 2014" from Business Monitor International, now available

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/01/2014 -- Although the domestic autos market in Serbia is far from developed, we believe that the Serbian autos production segment is set to establish its reputation as a highly competitive manufacturing base in the Eastern European region. Its proximity to high potential markets such as Russia, improving export ties with the EU and the hefty investments from Fiat will be key factors helping the production segment recover to pre-1999 levels.

Even by our modest forecast of 1.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) average annual growth between 2013 and 2017, we expect autos production to reach nearly 28,000 units by the end of our forecast - more than double the levels seen back in 1999. 2013 is poised to be a crucial year for the Serbian autos exports segment as well. With Fiat beginning exports of its Serbian-made cars to the US market from June 2013, Serbian total exports are expected to expand by an impressive 25% y-o-y, to EUR11bn in 2013. Car exports alone will stand between EUR1.5bn and EUR2bn.

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It is therefore not surprising that international suppliers and carmakers are rushing to establish their presence in the still immature market.

In October 2013, Finnish auto cable company PKC Group said it intends to open a production facility in the Serbian city of Smederevo. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the representatives of PKC, the Serbian government and the government of Smederevo city. The project will represent an investment of EUR8mn (US$10.94mn) by 2016 and will employ 1,500 workers. The project is also supported by SIEPA, the Customs Administration and the Free Zones Administration.

Meanwhile, German automaker Mercedes-Benz is scheduled to enter into a strategic partnership with Belgrade Serbian company Ikarbus. The partnership will be reached with the help of the Serbian government. Under the deal, Ikarbus will manufacture bus superstructures based on Mercedes' chassis and in association with Mercedes' management. The bus superstructures will not only cater to the Serbian market, but also the third markets.

In August 2013, Huanghai Auto, the bus unit of Chinese vehicle and component manufacturer SG Automotive Group, expressed interest in acquiring the truck and special purpose vehicle factories of Zastava. Huanghai Auto is open to a cooperation deal with Zastava at the outset, following which it is keen on participating in the privatisation of the Serbian company's Kamioni and Specijalna Vozila units.

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