US tyre manufacturer Goodyear has completed the €94m expansion of its production facility in Kranj in the north-west of Slovenia.

The expansion, delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, adds two new buildings to the existing facility and has created 160 jobs, according to the company.

The first phase of the investment was completed in 2019, and while the second phase began in 2020, the last operating permit required for the project was only issued in March 2023.

The company says that the new equipment installed as part of the expansion will reduce the amount of man-hours per unit but has increased demand for skilled workers such as machine operators, maintenance workers and engineers.

Goodyear already employs more than 1,700 people in Slovenia, part of a global operation that employs 72,000 people across 57 plants in 23 countries around the world.  

Slovenia has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) of any country in central and eastern Europe. Its economy is dominated by the services sector, which accounts for more than half of GDP and employs more than 60% of the total workforce.

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Goodyear is not the only major tyre manufacturer undertaking foreign direct investment. France-based Michelin announced in March 2023 that it will expand its production facility in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.