Increased Russian focus for Mitas’ upgraded Serbian factory
Production capacity for tractor and combine radials at Mitas’ factory in Ruma, Serbia has been expanded through a 3.5 million euro upgrade. In announcing the upgrade, the Czech Republic-based off-road tyre manufacturer noted the Ruma plant, which was built in 1981 and acquired by Mitas in 2008, is “strategically placed” to supply the Russian Federation due to the special trade relations between Russia and Serbia.
“The Ruma factory takes advantage of the Free Trade Agreement between Russia and Serbia,” Mitas CEO Jaroslav Cechura explained. “Mitas expands production capacity of radial tractor and combine tyres.” The plant caters for the Russian farm market with its output of large radials; prior to the capacity expansion work it produced 300,000 tyres per annum – only one per cent of which was exported to Russia.
“Serbia is a soaring eagle,” Cechura added. “Serbia’s strategic location, skilled work force, effective production costs and EU-candidate country status make it a perfect springboard for high-flying EU companies.” Serbian media reports the plant has taken on 46 new workers, and has financial incentives from the regional government for doing so. The upgrade is said to involve a new production line dedicated to the Russian market and new presses and machines will be installed. The first tyres from the upgraded facility may be shipped to Russia as early as April.
The Ruma facility recently obtained ISO 9001 certification from SGS and has been fully integrated within CGS Holding, the company that owns Mitas. In the course of this year an ISO 14001 environmental management system will also be implemented at the plant. “The factory has changed controlling of financial flows and procurement, improved production, implemented quality management system, begun reconstructing key machinery, implemented SAP and introduced a balanced score card system,” plant director Ivo Somr commented.