Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 02.02.2010.| 16:44
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Radovan Mijailović, CEO of Car battery factory Sombor - branch office in Moscow prior to April, possible opening of office in England

(Radovan Mijailović)

- Car battery factory Sombor (FAS), which exports about 70% of its products, will continue its strong export-oriented expansion in 2010 by opening branch offices in the world and establishing cooperation with foreign partners. Serbian manufacturer has already opened a company in Milan, a branch office in Moscow will be opened in two or three months, and the company also thinks about opening an office in England. FAS also plans to expand the business to the countries of South America, and the factory will be visited by potential partners from Brazil at the beginning of February who will negotiate on distribution of our products in local market - Radovan Mijailović, the CEO of FAS, announced for eKapija.

- We export our products to Guinea and Senegal in Africa, Syberia, Ireland, England, Iran, and our products are present in the markets of 50 countries worldwide. We are currently working directly with the customers abroad, but we also plan to connect with the companies in South America, Australia and Africa. The newly founded company in Milan will cover a part of the market of Southeast Europe, as well as Spain and France. We are the most satisfied with our export to European Union (36%), Russian market gets one third of our exported products, while the rest is exported to Africa, the countries of the Near East and former Yugoslavia - Mijailović explained.

Sombor-based factory is the leader in Serbian market with the share of about 80%, while the rest of the market is covered by about 20 other trademarks of car batteries.

Mijailović also says that the key for good business results in foreign countries is top quality of car batteries, modern design, broad assortment and competitive prices.

- Our key advantage lies in the fact that we operate within Farmakom MB concern, which produces all raw materials that are necessary for production in our factory. Farmakom MB has its own production of lead in Zajača mine, which enables standard production, while the influence of changes in the price of lead in the market is eliminated. The business policy of Farmakom MB is rounded production process – from raw materials to the highest level of the product processing - Mijailović explains.

He says that FAS delivers the same car batteries to all markets and that the company achieves biggest success in the countries of European Union, although the competition there is the strongest.

- The level of technical culture in these countries is the highest and the number of new automobiles is the largest, so that we haven't had any complaints to the date. That sometimes happens only in the countries with bad road infrastructure, old vehicles and rare control of alternators and generators. We export up-to-date car batteries with calcium-calcium technology to Europe (Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Ireland, England). The prices of our products are only lower than the prices of the most expensive products, which puts our car batteries in the upper middle class - Mijailović explains.

Mijailović is this year's laureate of the plaque and the "Manager of the Year" award that the Club of Business Journalists of Serbia presented to him for exceptional results in field of production and export.

Production of traction batteries for all uninterrupted power supply systems in 2010

Sombor's car battery factory invested in new equipment and modern calcium-calcium technologies in 2009 and, according to Mijailović, that investment trend will be continued in the following period.

- We delivered about 1.5m car batteries in 2009, and total incomes will exceed 50m EUR. Due to high demand, people in the unit are working in three shifts, while monthly production reaches up to 250,000 car batteries.

Mijailović says that the factory's development will go in three directions - production of starter batteries for automobiles and trucks, production of traction batteries and development of alternative program (production of batteries for scooters and motorcycles, pellets for hunting ammunition and fishing gear). The contracts have already been signed with big companies in Italy on export of lead pellets ranging between 1.2 and 9 mm in diameter.

- We plan to start production of traction batteries for all uninterrupted power supply systems such as post offices, telecommunications facilities, power supply companies, computer centers, etc. The assembly-line production of these batteries will start in mid-2010 and it is important to mention that nobody in Serbia and this part of Southeast Europe produces them.

Successful privatization

Car battery factory Sombor was privatized in mid-2006, and the new owner, Šabac-based Farmakom MB concern, has, so far, invested over 15m EUR in development and modernization of production. That enabled big expansion of the factory in Sombor, which produces 156 types of car batteries for all types of vehicles. One of the results of development is the product of the latest technology - completely closed car battery "white horse", of which delivering to domestic and foreign buyers started in June. The factory in Sombor has about 400 employees, and it announced new employments because of the growth of production.

Farmakom MB concern comprises Dairy Šabac, PIK 7. Juli, Foundry Požega, Industrial combine Guča, Zajača mines and smelter.

T.S.

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