Eberspächer sells brand new plant for HV heaters to GG Group

The automotive supplier Eberspächer has sold its new plant in Bulgaria, which was intended for the production of high-voltage heaters, to the GG Group from Austria before it even opened. The company cites lower demand than expected as the reason.

Image: Eberspächer

A company spokesperson from Eberspächer specifically explained the move to the German publication Wirtschaftswoche that “the planned growth of e-mobility in Europe” is being delayed. As a result, “the volumes planned by our customers for high-voltage heaters and the associated control units can now be supplied from the business units’ existing locations”.

Eberspaecher chose the Bulgarian city of Ruse as the location for the new plant and began construction in April 2023. According to the status at the time, the production planned there was “to be used in e-vehicles and plug-in hybrid models for the European market.” The factory is a building that includes production and logistics areas as well as an office and canteen complex. It is located on a plot of around 53,000 square meters in the Slatina industrial zone in the east of the city of Ruse.

Eberspächer wanted to start producing electric vehicle heaters at the new plant at the beginning of 2024. In addition, nine months ago, the supplier was still talking about increasing the initially planned 80 jobs on site to up to 500 jobs in the future and realizing an annual production capacity of around 2.4 million heaters after a plant expansion.

Instead, the as-yet unopened factory will now go to the GG Group for an undisclosed purchase price, which, according to Wirtschaftswoche, now wants to produce high-voltage cable harnesses for e-mobility in Ruse.

Meanwhile, Eberspaecher is not completely withdrawing from the city: in January 2023, the company opened an “interim production facility” with around 100 employees in Ruse due to the high demand at the time. This is now to become a regular plant, as it is “well utilized and can cover the planned growth”, Eberspächer told Wirtschaftswoche. The volume at the site is set to double in the course of 2024, but the number of employees will remain the same.

Eberspaecher now operates three production sites for electric car heaters in Europe: in Herxheim in Germany, Olawa in Poland and Ruse in Bulgaria. However, the sale of the new plant shows that the supplier is struggling to find the right path and the right timing in the transformation of its business. Eberspächer is primarily known for its exhaust gas purification and acoustic systems.

wiwo.de (in German)


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