Interview with Dr. Till Truckenmuller, President of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria

Automation & RoboticsInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2013

Our core objective is the development of a sustainable automotive industry in Bulgaria

Dear Dr. Truckenmuller, could you please present the main objectives of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria to our readers?
The core objective of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria (ACB) is the development of a sustainable automotive industry in Bulgaria. Further objectives are to support automotive industry companies with headquarters or subsidiaries in Bulgaria in establishment and further development of production, R&D, sales or service entities; to attract automotive manufacturers, manufactures of special vehicles and leading international suppliers of automotive components for the Bulgarian market. Also, we represent interests of our members in all matters and support their projects focused on introduction of technical improvements and innovations, optimization of quality, structures and processes, which can reduce costs and increase competitiveness in international markets. ACB stimulates ethical market behavior, i.e. follow the EU directives related to Corporate Governance and Compliance and develops and supports implementation measures together with the government, associations, universities, private educational institutions and ACB members in matters pertaining  to education, training and development of technology centers.

Recently, ACB declared its intention to organize an Internatioanl conference in Sofia? How is the preparation going on?
The preparation of International Automotive Conferende Bulgaria (IACB) runs very well and we are in our time schedule. Fix the date: October 8-9, 2013 in Sofia. Plant visits - October 10, 2013. For further information see Most of the requested high leveled key speakers has already confirmed. Top-managers of the European and Asian automotive industry will talk about their strategies in Europe and leading automotive suppliers will report about their experience to develop and produce in Bulgaria. Top-class panels will offer a unique possibility to hear about the "Future of the Automotive Industry in Bulgaria", "The trends in E-mobility in Bulgria and concrete set ups of plants to produce E-vehicles" and "Why invest in Bulgaria". About 30 exhibitors will demonstrate what exellent development results and products can be produced in Bulgaria.

What other initiatives do you plan for this year?
In June 2013, we will start a huge project our members will push - Human Resource Management in Bulgaria. Automotive Cluster Bulgaria will project a roll out activity of the educational programs which run in Hungary, pushed by the Hungarian State, the automotive industry and financed by EU-programs.

Based on an international benchmarking of excellent human resource departments within our members and external partners we will work out approaches to implement the findings in the Bulgarian develoment centers, plants or sales entities of our members. Of course, the program will consider typical Bulgarian HR aspects.

How do you intend to attract European car manufacturers to invest in Bulgaria?
To give an answer, I have to explain in shortform the resilient network in the automotive industry ACB can access.

IMACOS Truckenmuller & Company focuses on the automotive and machinery industry and is an expert in turnaround management. One of our management and consulting services is to set up plants and shared service activities in East Europe - since more than 20 years.

The international member companies of ACB and the IMACOS network offer access to the decision makers in the European automotive industry. ACB can use this network to adress car manufacturers and leading automotive suppliers.

Additional, ACB will participate in a lot of the international networking activities within the European Automotive Clusters and in International Fairs and Automotive Conferences.
Investors need resilient data about markets and countries as well as economic specifications and political terms. Investors need Partners familiar with the requirements of the branch. ACB can offer such kind of data and more, ACB can offer the experiences of it’s member companies and their international networks all over the world. Some have about 20 years of experience in Bulgaria. Some count to the world leaders in their business segments. ACB is in close relationship with all relevant decision makers in the Bulgarian government and all administrations.

Finally, ACB will offer its yearly International Automotive Conference Bulgaria to report about the latest trends in the Bulgarian automotive industry. ACB invites more than 3.000 of the top decision makers in the European automotive industry.

How do you see the future development of Bulgarian electric car market?
The electrical car market will play a growing role, especially in big cities. Automotive Cluster Bulgaria see big opportunies to produce e-vehicles and to place a large number of vehicles in the country.

Visit our conference in October and you will hear from the top manufactures and experts about the status and future trends in e-mobility in Bulgaria.