First Japanese robot factory in Europe

The Japanese company Yaskawa has opened Europe’s first robotics factory Kocevje, which will manufacture robots for the car industry. In his address, the honorary speaker, Slovenian Prime Minster Marjan Sarec, emphasised the importance of investments with high added value.


I am happy to be here in Kocevje today, an area that for many years was considered to be undeveloped and without prospects. Things could only start to change after Slovenia gained independence, and today, after a long road, we are here. Credit is due to the Municipality of
Kočevje, which recognised what this area needs,” said the PM, who also spoke of the efforts of the previous government, which faced no shortage of challenges with the project but managed to see it through.

Since Slovenia and Japan have long-standing good relations, the Prime Minster believes that these relations will only continue to improve in the future. He also noted the importance of cooperation between the EU and Japan and the significance of the free trade agreement signed last year.

The future is almost here already, and if we stick to our old structures, development and technology will go past us. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who invested all of your efforts and knowledge so that we could be here today.”

Yaskawa Electric Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial robots and is a leader in setting the guidelines for the development of this area of robotics. The corporation with its 104-year tradition employs around 14,500 around the world. It has been present in Slovenia for more than two decades, as it is the owner of the Yaskawa Ristro and Yaskawa Slovenija companies in Ribnica. According to the owners, the new factory will employ between 200 and 250 workers, and will initially produce around 4,000 robots annually, later increasing to
6,000. The investment is valued at around EUR 25 million, which the government on behalf of the state supported through subsidies and incentives worth more than EUR 5.6 million. The new manufacturing plant
and the new European Robotics Development Centre, which is planned to be built in the next few years, will cover approximately 80 percent of the market demand for robots in Europe, the Near East and Africa.

Source: Slovenian Government