AmCham Macedonia Summer 2016 (issue 50) - Page 23

Summer 2016 / Issue 50 iNTERVIEW Interview with Marian Capkovic, Tetovo Plant Manager, Lear Corporation Macedonia Lear Corporation at Work in Macedonia C apkovic joined Lear Corporation in November 2015 to manage the new site in Macedonia. He is an experienced automotive industry professional who has worked for automotive original equipment manufacturer in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia ACM: Tell us a bit about your local team. Capkovic: Lear’s leading role as a global innovator in automotive seating and electrical distribution systems encompasses more than products and processes - we know that people drive our success and have proven to be our most important asset at every Lear location. We value diversity and inclusion because it makes us a better company and better individuals coming together form an even stronger team. In Macedonia, we have managed to recruit and hire experienced professionals who reflect and promote teamwork and a “can do” spirit. Also, we focus on as potential hires, those with no relevant experience or local college graduates with potential. One of our core values is being an Employer of Choice; consistent with this, we seek to recruit, hire and retain the best from every background and community. ACM: Lear is a global leader in automotive seating & electrical systems production, with multiple productions lines. Which production line is present in Macedonia and what specifically are you producing? Capkovic: Lear Corporation Macedonia is part of the automotive seating industry, containing production lines for surface material production. We produce all types of car seat covers for different customers from the industry. The seat covers are made from fabric, vinyl and leather via a cutting and sewing process. Lear has been a world class cut & sew supplier of automotive trim covers for over 42 years. We produce everything from entry-level basic trim covers to high-end tailored trim for over 200 vehicle models globally and are the only seating supplier in the world that is 100% vertically integrated in cut & sew, leather, fabric and lamination. Our vertical integration capabilities enable us to control costs, reduce timing, and improve quality to service our worldwide customers. Vertical integration also allows for synergistic materials engineering to optimize performance, craftsmanship and cost. ACM: We understood that you were analyzing other countries in this region as potential investment locations. What was the main reason behind your decision to pick Macedonia? Capkovic: Due to the need to add capacity and satisfy Lear customer growth, Lear initiated a selection process, taking into consideration various suitable countries in Eastern Europe and North Africa. We analyzed factors such as the availability of the labor force, manufacturing and logistics cost, and a supportive environment for implementing and running a business; based on intensive research, Macedonia was selected as the preferred country for a new Lear production site. Additionally, our analysis showed that based on textile industry experience, available labor force and other factors, the TIDZ Tetovo location was ideally suited to supply our car manufacturing locations in Eastern Europe. ACM: What are your early impressions on the business climate in Macedonia and how do you assess the cooperation with Macedonian institutions? Capkovic: Being present for almost one year in Macedonia, we have positive early impressions regarding the business climate. Taking in consideration the AMCHAM MAGAZINE 23