Successful performance of the Wagner Automotiv company from Gradačac at the automotive industry supplier fair in Wolfsburg - IZB2022
As part of the "HelpDesk - Business Information Hub" project, the participation of BiH was supported. company at international fairs, all with the aim of better representation on the world market, and networking and increasing competitiveness
The Wagner Automotiv company from Gradačac took part for the second time at the IZB fair in Wolfsburg, Germany, which was held in October of this year after a four-year break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus is unique in economic history so far, both in terms of the way and speed of its occurrence, its global reach, and its consequences. It affected all sectors, both in the world and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The automotive industry has also been significantly affected by this crisis. Until that moment, production in the auto industry exceeded demand, and then the situation completely changed. Uncertainty prevailed, production processes were largely interrupted, logistical chains were disrupted, raw material prices rose, etc.
The importance of the automotive industry at the global level should not go without saying. It is one of the fastest growing industries and employs a huge number of workers. For example, only this branch of industry in BiH participates in the total export with some 900 million KM! It is certain that it takes time to recover from the pandemic in every sense, but the situation is returning to normal. Every new day represents a new opportunity.
That’s how the international fair IZB in Germany is back with big doors. It gathered more than 900 exhibitors in one place, and the motto of the fair was: “Connecting the possibilities of the car – intelligent, digitized, autonomous vehicle“.
Bh. companies from the automotive industry got a chance to participate in this year’s fair thanks to the project of the Chamber of Commerce of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina “HelpDesk – Business Information Hub”, which is implemented within the wider EU4BusinessRecovery project co-financed by the European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The goal of organizing trade fair activities within the “Help Desk” project is the entry of Bosnian companies into the international market, their presentation to global companies, networking and increasing competitiveness. Directly, this would alleviate the negative consequences caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was emphasized from the FBiH Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the Wagner Automotiv company from Gradačac, in Wolfsburg, the city of Volkswagen, which organizes a fair for its suppliers and those who want to get that status, the companies CORE Sarajevo, GS-TMT Travnik and TMD Group Gradačac also took part from BiH. It was an excellent opportunity to network and exchange information on the latest achievements and innovations in the automotive industry, as well as an opportunity for direct meetings with European companies, especially those coming from Germany. In a special space for B2B (business-to-business) meetings, there were representatives of eminent German associations, and the FBiH Chamber of Commerce made its office, located in the development headquarters of Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, available for our representatives free of charge.
The automotive industry is the future, and it is known that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long tradition in the automotive industry. Qualified workforce exists, quality, innovation and perspective are certainly present, but what our companies need is the support of the state and affection for manufacturers from the auto industry.
An example of positive BH. story is the just mentioned company Wagner Automotiv from Gradačac (www.wagner-automotiv.ba), which supplies 90% of its products to the automotive industry of the European Union and Switzerland markets. Their customers are renowned suppliers in the Tier 1 automotive industry, and Wagner Automotive’s mission is to be and remain a reliable supplier in this industry.
The reason for their appearance at the IZB fair this year is the positive experience from the previous fair in 2018, and the primary goal was to determine and follow trends in the automotive industry, and to find new customers. Company director Ensar Omeragić rated the visit to this year’s fair as very useful. They made a lot of important contacts, which was one of the goals: “We have roughly seen the requirements of our potential customers, so we can say that the visit was justified.
At the fair, a lot of information was requested by potential customers, and the visitors, who were also exhibitors, showed a lot of interest in our activities and possible cooperation”, says Omeragić.
Project leader at Wagner Automotiv, Esmir Mehanović singled out several significant contacts made at the fair. These are primarily the companies Selzer (Germany), Saleri (Italy), Handtmann (Germany), BorgWarner (USA): “The fair is specific and, like the Euroguss fair, it is not only for our technology, but we had the impression that Automotive is turning to suppliers from Europe , which ultimately represents great potential for our auto industry. In addition to this, many other industries will also develop, as support for this branch of industry”, says Mehanović.
Regarding the previous period in which the whole world found itself due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he says that it was a difficult period in which difficult decisions had to be made: “All the employees who had an indefinite contract stayed and further employees of the company, and there were also contracts that were unfortunately not extended. We had indications of rapid growth, so we did not reduce the number of employees much, especially due to the difficulty of finding quality workers on the labor market.”
As for production during the coronavirus, it was reduced by more than 50%, they say. As a result, exports also decreased, because Wagner Automotiv is a 100% export-oriented company. Esmir points out that companies in BiH must follow new technologies, because the time of conventional technologies is behind us: “The sooner everyone starts this transition, the easier it will be. The focus in the future work of the company will be the automation of workplaces, along with creating better conditions for employees, and reducing the risk of a lack of quality workforce, which is another problem that will escalate in the coming period,” Mehanović points out.
For going to such an important fair and the opportunity for additional networking, Mehanović thanks the FBiH Chamber of Commerce: “The FBiH Chamber of Commerce provides us with excellent support. When there is a need for networking on the domestic market, it is the Chamber that can always give us the right information at any time,” Mehanović points out.
Having a positive experience with both fairs in which they participated, in 2018 and this year, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. companies have no doubt that they will be one of the participants in 2024.
The EU4BusinessRecovery project supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue doing business and preserve jobs, and will especially support female entrepreneurs, young people and other vulnerable groups in establishing their own businesses and in overcoming the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, by creating a more resilient business environment . The total value of the project is 13.7 million euros, and it is jointly financed by the European Union (13 million euros) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (0.7 million euros). EU4BusinessRecovery is jointly implemented by GIZ, ILO and UNDP, from 2021 to 2023. For more information, visit http://www.eu4business.ba/.
For more information about the “Help Desk” project, please contact:
Armin Hodžić, Team Leader
phone: 033 566 308
Anela Karahasan, Project Manager
phone: 033 566 333