Prime Minister Attends Opening Ceremony of the Modernized Sanitary Fittings Plant in Sevlievo at the 85th Anniversary of Ideal Standard – Vidima

Ideal Standard – Vidima celebrates 85 years since its establishment with an official opening of the modernized sanitary fittings plant, the result of the company’s three-year investment program for over BGN 62 million. The guests for the opening ceremony were Mr. Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Mr. Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Ivan Ivanov, Mayor of Sevlievo Municipality and Ms. Nevena Petkova, Regional Governor.

The event was commenced by Mr. Emil Gatev, Director of the sanitary fittings plant of Ideal Standard – Vidima: “I am very happy that we will have a chance to show what we have accomplished. I know this has been a challenging adventure for you, but I also know that we are ready to move forward, build our future and provide this city, this company, with at least 85 more years of life.”

“This opening is an important page in the 85-year history of Ideal Standard – Vidima. This plant is one of a kind in Bulgaria and is the largest in Europe. Investing will guarantee a long and successful future and this is one of the most important steps to become the best factory in the world. The company created 3,200 jobs and invested over 300 million leva. We are grateful to our employees and the local community, the local authorities and the central administration for the years we work in Bulgaria,” with these words Mr. Torsten Turling, CEO of Ideal Standard Group addressed the official guests, employees, and the media.

“85 years is a noteworthy age, to speak of. If we are talking about a company, if we are talking about a factory, this is to some extent even more challenging because it means that it is a production that has survived through three different government regimes. And this is a reason for pride!”, So Mr. Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister addressed the employees of Ideal Standard – Vidima and the guests, and continued: “The last years in the development of Vidima are the golden years! Both in terms of production volume and quality and in terms of export destinations! What goes out of your hands goes to consumers in more than 100 countries. I very much want to bring here everyone who sometimes stops me and asks me “why is there no production in Bulgaria?”, and show them that this is what is produced in Bulgaria, moreover it is produced with world-class quality. If we are able to survive, if we are able to fight in the world markets, it means that we are not only good, that we are better than others. As you know I am from this region, and today I am proud not only of the number of employees, not only of the financial indicators. I am proud of the introduction of advanced technologies, robotics. What I am thankful for is that apart from the good performance indicators, if you look at the data,   “Vidima” is a benchmark for corporate social responsibility – sports, culture, healthcare – everything that makes people’s lives better, not just beyond the factory walls, but also outside. This is a model, a model, which means that Vidima is part of the community. Happy anniversary! To join Mr. Gatev’s call for the next 85 years to be even better. Be healthy!”

Before cutting the ribbon and taking a tour of the modernized plant, Mr. Boyko Borisov, the Prime Minister also addressed the audience with the words: “I am proud of such workers – over 3000 people in Sevlievo. I want to thank the Directors, the owners and the investors for another American investment in Bulgaria. It is the largest plant in Europe. What is required of me? Sevlievo and Germany – joined by a highway! I wish you all the best, because if you didn’t work so hard, if you didn’t raise the gross domestic product, we couldn’t do it. It costs money. And thanks to the economy and industry, we have this opportunity. Good luck!”

During the tour, the official guests were informed of the major investments made in the last three years. Modernization is related to the automation of production processes and improvement of working conditions in order to reduce manual work, increase capacity and competitiveness. Some of the innovations are: high-performance machines in the foundry process; latest generation CNC machining machines; 22 robots and relocation of 270 machines in line with the Lean methodology. Mr. Borisov met with employees during his tour through the production lines: greeting, shaking hands, and talking to some of them personally. After leaving the factory, Torsten Turling gave the Prime Minister Borisov a gold-plated single laver mixer, unique from the first series of new mixers as a gift. The PM thanked the workers for their hard work and high quality and wished the factories to continue to expand with new investments and new jobs.The modernization of the plant will increase the capacity to 6.5 million pieces. Ideal Standard’s investments in the Bulgarian company are over BGN 300 million since 1992. The Bulgarian company employs over 3,200 people.