Automotive industry in Slovenia

MachinesTechnical ArticlesSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2024 • 18.03.2024

Slovenia’s automotive industry is a flexible network of highly specialized niche players. Innovative SMEs are developing systems and components ranging from power drives for electric and hybrid cars to exhaust systems used in GP motorcycles and sport cars. The industry includes everything from component suppliers to end-product manufacturers, including trailers, motorhomes, small cars, and even sport supercars. With several leading players in areas like electric motors and mechatronics, the Slovenian automotive industry can provide sophisticated components and unique solutions like high-torque in-wheel electric drive systems and AI based real traffic simulation solutions.

The turnover generated by the automotive sector represents 10% of Slovenia’s total GDP. The sector accounts for about 20% of the exports of goods. More than 40 000 Slovenians work in the automotive industry (directly and indirectly, 16 600 in some 276 companies), accounting for 4,5% of all jobs in Slovenia. Slovenia has highly qualified people for the competitive and sustainable automotive industry.

The automotive industry is one of the most promising parts of the Slovenian economy. Its contribution to added value, innovation and investments in R&D is above average. It gives more than 25% award-winning innovations in Slovenia every year.

Slovenian exporters, suppliers to the automotive industry, meet all international standards and are competent suppliers in the global market with key customers in Germany, where the Slovenian car industry exports 40% of its production. Other export markets are France, Italy, Austria, Turkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States. The only car manufacturer in Slovenia is Revoz, which is owned by Groupe Renault with about 1400 employees.



Slovenia’s unique automotive network includes over 100 Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers and is involved in the development and design processes of major European car brands. The automotive industry in Slovenia is backed up by local partners from a wide array of industries. Tooling, robotics, the measurement devices industry, composite material developers, coating makers, software and AI developers provide solutions closely adapted to the needs of their automotive partners. The industry and its suppliers form an important link in the cross-border value chain. As such it creates significant value-added to European vehicle production. Its impact is global, as its products are exported to over 120 countries all over the world.

Slovenia is located close to major car producers in Germany, Italy, Austria and in Central Europe. Its excellent geographical position on the intersection of two pan-European TEN-T corridors is backed up by a well-developed logistics infrastructure; Koper is a major port in the Northern Adriatic. These elements provide for easy integration in supply chains, offering fast delivery, high efficiency, low cost and – finally – lower carbon emissions.

The Slovenian automotive industry is highly efficient, utilizing modern processes and technologies that often follow industry 4.0 principles. Slovenia is one of 20 countries with the highest robot density in the world. Quality management methods have widely been adopted in the late 20th century.


Leading companies

Revoz is one of the biggest Slovenian companies, the only car manufacturer in the country and has been its number exporter for several years. Revoz carries out its mission within a global automotive alliance, joining Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. In addition to Renault models Twingo and Clio, the Revoz plant produces also the electric vehicle Twingo Electric.

Adria Mobil has been designing and manufacturing Adria brand recreational vehicles – caravans, motorhomes, campervans and mobile homes – since 1965. The company is based in Novo Mesto, and sells 99% of its total turnover to western European markets. Adria motorhomes are commonly based on Fiat and Mercedes vehicles. The company has a 6,5% market share on the European market and ranks sixth among the most successful European producers in the basic programme, caravans and motorhomes.

Mahle Electric Drives Slovenija has its headquarters in Sempeter pri Gorici, and business premises intended mostly for R&D activities in Ljubljana and Maribor. The company was established in 1960 and is with almost 2000 employees ranked among the biggest Slovenian exporters and employers in the region. It joined Mahle Group after the takeover in 2014 and later became part of the Mechatronics Division.

Carthago manufactures motorhomes and its head office is based in Odranci. The company employs 807 people. The latest financial highlights indicate a net sales revenue drop of 18,8% in 2022. Its total assets grew by 12,98% over the same period. In, 2022, the company’s net profit margin decreased by 0,02%.

Odelo Slovenija was established in 2004. It is mainly engaged in the development and manufacturing of lighting equipment for the automotive industry. The company’s product range includes automobile rear lights, headlamps, foglamps and little lamps. The customer base of Odelo Slovenija includes motor vehicle producers and traders, retail chains and individual clients in Slovenia and abroad.

Akrapovic is a manufacturer of premium exhaust systems for motorcycles and performance cars. It is renowned around the globe as an innovative high-tech company that uses advanced technology and high-quality materials in exhaust-system design. The company’s state-of-the-art factories in Slovenia also include an in-house titanium foundry and metallurgical laboratory. Akrapovic has over 1800 employees and sells its products in over eighty countries.

TPV Automotive is a development supplier operating in the global automotive industry. The company develops and manufactures products that have a significant impact on vehicle dynamics, safety, ecology and driving comfort, as well as implements new technical solutions for electric vehicles. TPV Automotive’s engineering services are purchased by globally recognized customers in the automotive industry – tier 1 suppliers and OEMs for their premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault.

Adient manufactures and markets automotive interior trim products. The company’s core products are car seats for Renault cars Twingo, Clio and Daimler Smart. Its daily production rate is about 950 car seats delivered to the assembly line of Revoz.



Slovenia promotes e-mobility in several ways. The government encourages the purchase of e-vehicles through the Eco Fund, which offers grants to individuals and legal entities. EUR 5 million were allocated for e-mobility in 2019. The Eco Fund also offers grants to municipalities for the installation of e-charging stations.

Compared to 2019 the number of passenger cars on hybrid drive increased by 38% to about 9400 at the end of 2020, which is 0, 8% of all registered passenger cars. The number of passenger cars on electric drive increased by 84% to 3670 at the end of 2020, which is 0,3% of all registered passenger cars.

Currently there are 630 public charging stations available in Slovenia. The country has set out an ambitious plan to support faster e-vehicle entry into the Slovenian market, with the goal of achieving at least 17% of all passenger cars or 200 000 electric or hybrid vehicles by 2030.

Different Slovenian institutes and companies are involved in the development process of components for electric vehicles. The Slovenian National Institute of Chemistry is engaged in research and development of modern battery materials. They are leading two European projects on the development of lithium-sulphur batteries that have at least twice the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Considerable attention is paid to the development of batteries made of materials the basis of which is not lithium. Sodium, for example, can successfully replace lithium.

Hidria, that ranks among the leading European manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment for motor vehicles, also contributes to the green mobility segment with state-of-the-art sustainable solutions for future cars (laminations for electric and hybrid cars, among others).