Prop-shaft maker opens plant in Aizkraukle

The Baltic region’s biggest manufacturer of automotive parts – cardan shafts in particular, Auto Cardan, announced the opening of a new production plant in the central Latvian town of Aizkraukle Friday.

Company board member Agris Karklins told national information agency LETA that Auto Cardan will continue production at existing capacity, however the new facility will create opportunities to expand, purchase better equipment, provide better service and hope for better contracts abroad.

While Finland and Lithuania remain the company’s prime export markets, its success in Estonia prompted Auto Cardan to open a production facility in 2012 there as well.

“It’s possible export levels to Finland will increase to the point where it may be necessary to open a permanent workshop there, too,” Karklins hinted.

The company is waiting for events in Ukraine to settle down before approaching prospective clients there, however.

Auto Cardan provides maintenance and manufacturing services to prop shafts for trucks and specialized automobiles, such as for off-road car racing and forestry extraction needs.

The company currently employs ten people in Latvia, five at its workshop in Estonia, but will seek new workers willing to train for at least a year before becoming full-fledged staff members.

The new plant in Aizkraukle took ten months to build.

Aizkraukle district council chairman Leons Lidums, speaking at the opening of the facility, congratulated the company on developing its enterprise locally.

The firm invested €320,000 into the plant, 30% of which came from EU co-financing for rural-based industrial development, 50% of which was credit received from the DNB Bank and the remaining 20% Auto Cardan’s own assets.

In 2013 the company’s turnover was €1.48m, with a profit of €217,991.

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