German company Franz Kiel investment in Zelino to create 350 jobs

German company Franz Kiel producing passenger seats for buses and trains will invest in the Tetovo village of Zelino. The company at the start will produce bus seats for the Belgian Van Hool company, which already operates in Macedonia and afterwards plans to place its production in Europe, Asia, US and other global markets.

Sixty jobs will be created in the first phase reaching 350 further on. The total investment value amounts between € 6 to 7 million.

Franz Kiel CEO Gerhard Hellweg announced the investment Thursday in Skopje underlying that the brownfield investment is to start its production on June 1.

He said that they decided to invest in Macedonia due to economic stability and educated staff.

The overall approach of Macedonia over the years is to be a democratic country and it is quite possible to have changes of political parties and governments due to the elections. Our plans do not include 5-6 years, but a period of 20 years so it’s quite normal changes to happen. Stability is much more important, which we saw it in the industry in Macedonia, starting with a good education system. I am impressed from the number of students in many fields of study in Skopje and Tetovo. I am positive about the future because we believe that education and people are the biggest investment of this country and to companies as the basis for success. Therefore, we are linked to the political aspect, but certainly the industry requires stability for establishing the process, Hellweg told.

Director of the Directorate for Technological Industrial Development Zones Viktor Mizo said that the company is to be suppler to Van Hool which we see as additional effect of existing investors operating in Macedonia and expand their production.

In the future the company will start to export bus and train seats to Europe, Asia and North America.

The company was founded in 1945 by Franz Kiel and produces seats for passenger transports and commercial vehicles. It is headquartered in Germany’s Nordlingen.


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