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competitiveness of the labour market also were

considered and supported the decision.

Melexis's location in Sofia has succeeded in com-

bining the local talent with global business needs in

a way that allows the team to develop innovative

products for global customers. At the same time,

strong local experts also have an important or even

unique roles within the company's business. The

two core businesses of Melexis - research & deve-

lopment and manufacturing (in the sense of testing

chips) - are both active in the Sofia plant, which

gives an opportunity to grow on an yearly basis,

state company representatives.

"Locally, the team has developed several key

product families with an established, strong know-

how. We are following the trend of the growing au-

tomotive market for applications related to comfort,

safety, greener vehicles, replacing the communica-

tion from cables to LIN, etc. Over the last years we

have recruited professionals and engineers to pur-

sue the global trend for growth, and have complet-

ed orders for 10 different nations from our site in

Sofia", adds the company website.

IMI Bulgaria

Integrated Microelectronics (IMI) was first estab-

lished in Bulgaria in 1993 as EPIQ. It started its activ-

ities in the fields of electronic assembly, module as-

sembly, development and manufacture of plastic in-

jection moulds and factory automation equipment. In

July 2011, the Belgian EPIQ group sold EPIQ Elec-

tronic Assembly EOOD to Integrated Microelectron-

ics Inc (IMI), a Philippines-based company.

IMI subcontracts for well-known names in the au-

tomotive sector, including Valeo, Denso, Brose and

EF. The company produces components for fa-

mous brands in consumer electronics like Tefal,

Rowenta, De Longi. IMI manufactures more than

230 types of products and exports them mostly to

the European markets.

IMI Bulgaria is located in Botevgrad, 60 km away

from the capital Sofia. Its main activity includes PCB

assembly and testing, system product integration,

tooling and plastic injection. The Bulgarian opera-

tions are among the leading international suppliers

to the automotive, consumer electronics and indus-

trial appliance markets.

The main factors that led to EPIQ's decision to

invest in Bulgaria include the country's political sta-

bility, availability of high engineering skills, and la-

bor cost. IMI Bulgaria also plays a key role within

the IMI group in the automotive sector as the best-

in-class automotive site, and as the main entity for

the Europe geographical area.

Visteon Bulgaria

Visteon started its history as a spin-off from Ford

Motor Company that had just acquired Johnson

Controls's electronics business. Visteon has since

managed to successfully transform its own busi-

ness into a focused electronics supplier with lead-

ing market positions in Asia, Europe and North

America. Currently, Visteon has about 11,000 em-

ployees around the world.

The company is one of the world's largest cockpit

electronics providers and the only one focused ex-

clusively on cockpit electronics. Visteon designs,

engineers and manufactures advanced electronics

products and connected car solutions that deliver a

rich, connected experience for drivers and passen-

gers. Visteon supplies virtually all leading automak-

ers, including BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Mo-

tors, Nissan and Hyundai.

Visteon Electronics Bulgaria is a technical cen-

ter with more than 680 employees and an exper-

tise in software, hardware and mechanics. The

location is Visteon's second largest development

center and is currently focused on the design and

development of over 30 projects for millions of

cars in future mass production.

Following a significant growth in demand for its

software services, Visteon is relocating its 700 em-

ployees in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to a new

89,000 square foot state-of-the-art office space,

with plans to further expand the facility and accom-

modate up to 150 additional employees.

"Automotive software development is the fast-

est-growing segment in the global automotive in-

dustry, driven by the evolution of connected cars

and autonomous driving. Visteon's software oper-

ations in Sofia are at the core of this exciting evo-

lution, providing infotainment, head-up displays

and innovative solutions for the world's leading au-

tomakers," states Markus Schupfner, Visteon

chief technology officer.

Sensata Technologies

Sensata Technologies is a world-leading supplier

of mission-critical sensors and controls for the auto-

motive industry. The company is part of the interna-

tional holding company Sensata Technologies - a

global manufacturing and technology company ac-

tive in the development, manufacture and sale of

sensors and control systems. The technical solutions

that the company offers are widely used in the auto-

motive sector, aircraft constructions, shipbuilding,

military, trucks, HVAC, telecom industry and others.

Globally, Sensata Technologies turned 100 years

old in 2016. The company has business centers

and manufacturing sites in 16 countries around the

world with over 19,000 employees. In Bulgaria,

Sensata has been operational since 2011, follow-

ing the acquisition of the Belgian company Sensor-

Nite and its plant in Botevgrad. The facility in

Botevgrad has actually existed since 2002 and cur-

rently there are two manufacturing buildings and a

test laboratory there. In addition, Sensata has op-

erations in Plovdiv and Sofia - a business center

hosting design engineering and testing, a customer

service center, shared center and mechanization in

Sofia, and a production plant in Plovdiv, where the

company produces a different type of automotive

sensors - pressure sensors - and also works with

some of the biggest automotive producers in the

world. The Plovdiv plant was officially opened in

April 2016.

Sensata Technologies has invested over 40 mil-

lion USD in its Plovdiv site and has recently re-

vealed plans to increase the number of employees

from the current 150 to 1,400 over time. Future in-

vestments in the current production in Botevgrad

and the Business Center in Sofia are also on the

way, revealed the company, and the planned over-

all investment for the Botevgrad plant & equipment

will be 8 million USD for 2016 alone.

Wuerth Elektronik

Wuerth Elektronik iBE is a specialist in custom-

ized EMC components and inductors for automo-

tive applications and e-mobility, and has been a

preferred partner for the automobile industry for

over thirty years now. The German company has

16 production facilities located worldwide and is

ISO/TS 16949-certified. Wuerth is represented in

all important markets and continents, and one of its

strongest sectors is automotive. Their product port-

folio includes customized rod-core and special-ap-

plication chokes, high-current inductors, automotive

ferrites, power inductors and storage chokes.

The Bulgarian subsidiary and production site

of Wuerth Electronik - Wuerth Electronik IBL BG-

is located in town of Belozem, on a two hour ride

from Sofia. The factory was established in 2002

and has about 320 employees. It is precisely

specialized in the winding of aircoils, core as-

sembly & fixation, manual & semi-automated

processes and welding.

Source: Visteon

Source: Wuerth Elektronik

Source: Sensata Technologies