18 April 2023
18 April 2023, Comments Comments Off on Carthago opens new Malibu van plant in Slovenia
Carthago opens new Malibu van plant in Slovenia

The Carthago Group held an inauguration ceremony at its new plant in Ormož, Slovenia which will manufacture its Malibu Van range.

This is Carthago’s second plant in Slovenia (in addition to its plant at Odranci) and represents a total investment of 50 million Euros, with 300 jobs expected to be created by the end of next year.  This shows that Carthago is continuing to expand, even during times of political and economic uncertainty.

The guest list at the inauguration ceremony included the Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar and Matjaž Han, the Minister for Economy, Tourism and Sport, which indicates the importance of the Carthago Group in Slovenia and the strategically important connection between the German motorhome manufacturer and its locations in the country. They were accompanied by Danijel Vrbnjak, the Mayor of Ormož, plus the management of Slovenian company Carthago d.o.o, and the entire management of the Carthago Group, including founder and owner Karl-Heinz Schuler.

Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar (right) with Stefan Weiß, Danijel Vrbnjak, Sandra Županec and Karl-Heinz Schuler

Karl-Heinz Schuler emphasised the close relationship between the locations in Germany and Slovenia in his speech: “In addition to our headquarters in Aulendorf/Upper Swabia, the plants in Odranci and now in Ormož constitute a supporting and indispensable pillar of the Carthago Group. Without the foothold in Slovenia, the Carthago Group wouldn’t be what it is today: one of Europe’s most successful manufacturers of premium category motorhomes.”

Matjaž Han, Minister for Economy, Tourism and Sport with Karl-Heinz Schuler and Danijel Vrbnjak, the Mayor of Ormož

The new, highly specialised and state-of-the-art plant in Ormož in the north east of Slovenia has been built on a green field site covering an area of approximately 100,000 square metres. The manufacturing facilities include a joinery, a pre-assembly facility and an assembly facility, as well as logistics.

From August 2023 onwards, the workforce can look forward to attractive workplaces, modern social rooms and the company restaurant.

The new plant will have an annual capacity of about 3,000 Malibu Vans. Approximately 180 people will be employed in Ormož when production starts. This number is expected to increase to about 300 employees by the end of the first full year of production in 2024.

Until now, the Malibu Van range has been manufactured in parallel with the Carthago and Malibu motorhomes in the nearby Carthago Group Odranci plant. The two plants are only about half an hour’s drive apart. This means that approximately 100 experienced employees from Odranci can form the backbone of the workforce in Ormož, from where they previously commuted to their workplaces in Odranci. Sandra Županec, Managing Director of Carthago d.o.o commented: “This ensures that there will be a faster ramp-up of production and top quality.”

Moving production of the Malibu Vans to the new plant will free up capacity for motorhome production in Odranci. No jobs will be lost as a result. On the contrary: The location will undergo further expansion, and more new employees are going to be taken on.

Managing Director Sandra Županec with the Slovenian President

When the plant was being constructed in Ormož, the focus was not only on state-of-the-art and efficient production, but also on protecting the environment and sustainability.

Markus Kern, CEO of Carthago said: “We are combining economy and ecology in an exemplary way in Ormož.”

About a third of the site consists of planted and green areas. The LED lighting saves energy, as does heat recovery during the generation of compressed air and vacuums. The power supply to the plant comes from a combined heat and power plant and a photovoltaic system with an impressive output of one megawatt. Periods of peak power demand are covered by highly efficient heat pumps. All of the production and office rooms can be heated and cooled, and can also be ventilated in a controlled manner. Stefan Weiß, Managing Director of Carthago d.o.o., summarises: “The result is a state-of-the-art and exemplary environmentally friendly manufacturing facility.”

The Malibu Van is one of the pioneers of the popular comfort camper van with washroom. These are becoming increasingly important in Germany and Europe. The Carthago Group still considers this market segment to have a considerable amount of future potential. The relevance of the Malibu Van recently became clear in the 2023 vote for “Reisemobil des Jahres” (Motorhome of the Year) in Germany: The Van won its category for the fourth time in a row.

The opening of the new Ormož plant is taking place in a remarkable year for the Carthago Group: it is celebrating 10 years of the Malibu Van, 15 years of the Odranci plant and 10 years of Carthago City, the company headquarters of the Carthago Group in Germany. In addition, the municipality of Ormož is celebrating its 750th anniversary in 2023.