A ceremony in Novo mesto will launch on Thursday evening celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the beginnings of the thriving car and caravan industry in this southeastern town, home for instance to Renault’s subsidiary Revoz.
The story, continuing with Revoz, caravan maker Adria Mobil and automotive parts supplier TPV, began with Industrija Motornih Vozil or IMV (Industry of Motor Vehicles).
IMV, seen today as the cornerstone of the post-war industrialisation of the region which now boasts some of the country’s leading exporters, first started assembling the DKW Schnellaster van and DKW Universal personal vehicle.
It developed its first van in 1958, while it started developing touring caravans in 1965 and later also added motorhomes and mobile homes to its production line.
The Austin Morris 1300 was assembled in Novo mesto from 1968 to 1972, which marked the arrival of Renault, including with its legendary 4L model.
IMV employed more than 6,500 people in its heyday, while it was restructured into several separate companies during the crisis in 1980s, including into the mentioned trio.
Revoz, which had a workforce of around 2,000 people and announced new shifts recently, is still going strong and is the only European plant manufacturing the New Twingo. The Renault Clio is still being manufactured too, while the production is also starting of the new Smart ForFour.
Caravan maker Adria Mobil has also been doing well despite the crisis, holding some 6% of the European market. It presently
employs almost 600 people, roughly half of the figure reported by the TVP group, which is supplying parts to virtually all leading car makers in the world.
The history of car making in Novo mesto can be explored in more detail at a special exhibition there, set up three years ago under the title “Wheels of Progress IMV”, while doors open days will also be organised at Revoz, Adria and TVP to mark the anniversary.
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