Automotive industry manufacturers are looking for opportunities to retrain employees

There are 14.6 million of Europeans directly related to the Automotive industry.

It is planned to retrain 700,000 employees each year, which will cost about 7 mln. Eur.

There are about 50 companies working in the Automotive industry in Lithuania.

Local manufacturers claim to have their own strengths and flexibility.

The competition for the production of components for the new generation of cars is becoming more intensive.

Discover more (source and photography): Verslo Žinios. 

Panevėžio Aurida, UAB – creation of successful products and expansion to new markets

For more than 60 years, UAB Panevėžio Aurida has been designing and producing compressors for brake systems and various assemblies used in trucks, buses, tractors, road construction equipment and other heavy machinery. For many years, the factory focused on exports to Eastern markets, supplying products to KAMAZ, MAZ, KrAZ, URALAZ and other automotive producers as well as to the market for spare parts. For this reason, the company’s operations were not especially well-known in Lithuania itself.

The team at UAB Panevėžio Aurida, while exploring new niches for products and seeking to enter other markets, noticed that the vehicle fleet and equipment used in agriculture in Lithuania and neighbouring countries has significantly changed in recent years. There are now many tractors and combines, new and used, that were manufactured in the West. This has increased the demand for spare parts. Therefore, a programme to produce compressors for agricultural equipment was drawn up, and a high-priority effort to research this niche and prepare new products for agricultural use was begun. In 2019-2020, an entire range of new compressors for New Holland, Case IH, John Deere, Deutz-Fahr, Fendt, Valtra, MTZ, Massey Ferguson and CLAAS tractors and combines was designed, prepared for production and/or adapted from the assortment already being produced. The technical and operational characteristics of the products made by UAB Panevėžio Aurida compare favourably with analogous products from compressor makers such as Knorr-Bremse, WABCO, Haldex and POLMO. At the end of 2020, the first contracts with agricultural equipment service companies were signed and production began.

Also in 2020, cooperation with automotive and agricultural equipment manufacturers in the company’s traditional markets continued. Samples of the 4212-101 model were supplied to the Petersburg Tractor Plant, and the samples demonstrated performance superior to those of Belarusian manufacturers that are currently in use. It can be said that at this time the compressor made by UAB Panevėžio Aurida is one of the best in the world. It is planned to use the 4212-101 model in the latest Kirovets tractor engines.

New compressor models 3122-202 and 3122-203 have been prepared for use in the latest Euro 5 engines JMZ-534 and JMZ-536 produced at the Yaroslavl Motor Plant. When the pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, a sample shipment will be delivered to the engine manufacturer.

UAB Panevėžio Aurida produces and supplies to the market the largest assortment of compressors for KAMAZ vehicles. In 2020, two new compressors were introduced, models 18.3509015-20 and 18.3509015-21, for use in the most widely-used truck engines. It is noteworthy that in 2014, participating together with the Baltic Automotive Component Cluster at the Hannover Trade Fair, UAB Panevėžio Aurida’s compressor 4222-100, designed for KAMAZ, was recognised as the most innovative product, for which there are no analogues from other manufacturers even today.

It is also noteworthy that when the company began to cooperate with PAZ, UAB Panevėžio Aurida’s compressor model 3112-101 demonstrated testing parameters superior to those of compressors made by world-class manufacturer Knorr-Bremse, and the compressor model 3112-104 is the only compressor used by PAZ in natural gas engines ISUZU-4HV1 in the PAZ 32053 bus.

During the last 25 years, the company has manufactured compressors of various designs. In the annual Product of the Year competition sponsored by the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, the company’s compressors were awarded gold medals in 2012, 2013 ir 2017.

The company has prepared compressor model 4222-103 for Cummins engines in Dart, Enviro, Falcon, Versa and other buses; model 5222-100 for Renault trucks; model 7122-102/103 for Mercedes-Benz OM 457 LA engines; model 7222-200 for Cursor 13 engines in Iveco (Stralis), Renault and other trucks.

The company is proud to say that after 25 years of intensive work, it remains a leading exporter, with more than 60 compressors of various designs being produced at the present time.


Discover new supply chain partners. Success stories from engineering and technology and the latest achievements

Lithuania has rich traditions in engineering, mechanical and automotive sectors. The country is located in the very attractive geographical location between Western, Northern and Eastern Europe and has all needed engineering skills and competencies, which rising every year. Those are the main reasons for German companies to be interested in possible cooperation with Lithuania.

G. Valuckas, president of Lithuanian Free Economic Zones, talked about the most important investment possibilities in Lithuania. Our country is one of the most attractive countries for doing business on a global scale. Lithuania is in the 11th place among 190 other countries in world. The talent labour is large and the geographical situation is attractive, too. G. Valuckas sees many ways for possible cooperation between two countries’ manufacturing sectors and continues to work on it.

D. Lasionis, CEO of BACC, talked about the Lithuanian automotive production and enjoyed the most favourable conditions for growth. D. Lasionis presented the latest achievements and the electric vehicle technologies developed in Lithuania with intentions to find possible cooperation in the Automotive sector in Germany.

Please find out the full video.

A very important cooperation

We are pleased with the fruitful cooperation among the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation,  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Lithuania and BACC member-companies.

BACC member-companies initiate meetings with the Ministry’s vice-ministers,commercial attaches and make proposals. BACC members share information on current events, thoroughly describe the situation in the companies and make proposals regarding support measures for the business community.

BACC member-companies closely cooperate with LINPRA, the Lithuanian Engineering Industries Association, seeking ways to make effective use of the technological capabilities of companies in the sector.

BACC companies organise events bringing members together, share insights into the current economic situation, exchange information about the effects of COVID-19 and consult on various strategic decisions. In the face of today’s uncertain situation, this cooperation becomes even more important, because only by consulting together can the best all-round solutions be found.

Lithuania – discover new supply chain partners. Success stories from engineering and technology and the latest achievements

Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC) together with German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK) and Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Germany cordially invite you to the online webinar “Lithuania – discover new supply chain partners. Success stories from engineering and technology and the latest achievements” on November 17, 2020 at 10.30 a.m.
Lithuanian automotive production is currently enjoying the most favourable conditions for growth, yet the market remains far from saturated. Take a look at the country’s rich traditions in engineering, strengthened by the recent arrival of major industry players like Hella and Continental. Establish collaborations in Lithuania that deliver today and are ready for tomorrow. Discover the latest achievements and the electric vehicle technologies developed in Lithuania.

For more information and registration please click here. 

1) Dr. Kurt-Christian Scheel, Managing Director of German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA): introduction and welcome speech.
2) Dr. Marius Skuodis, Viceminister of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania: overview of Lithuanian eco-system.
3) Florian Schröder, CEO of German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK): introduction and welcome speech.
4) Giedrius Valuckas, President of the Lithuanian Association of Free Economic Zones: Lithuania – place for expansion or gateway for German companies.
5) Darius Lasionis, CEO of Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC): Development of automotive sector in Baltics – engineering achievements and success stories with examples of latest developed solutions for electric vehicle technologies.
6) Tobias Pohlschmidt, CEO of HELLA Lithuania: case study of expansion to Lithuania.
7) Q&A.
Moderated by Šarūnė Šablevičienė, Commercial Attaché of the Republic of Lithuania in Germany, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
Please register up to 13 November.


BACC member-companies: news and forecasts

The pandemic has disrupted not only the supply chains, but also the sales and expansion plans of many companies. On the other hand, Lithuania is positioned to be one of the EU member-states least-affected by Covid-19. After a sudden but brief halt, Lithuanian industrial companies have been gradually recovering in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. In the automotive industry sector, a similar dynamic can be seen: some companies are experiencing difficulties, but there are also companies in which turnover has increased significantly and even exceeded the numbers for the third quarter of 2019. It is forecast that the turnover of BACC member-companies and of Lithuanian automotive sector companies will decrease about 10% compared to 2019, but it is worth noting that this is one of the smallest decreases in turnover in this sector in all of Europe.

Vytautas Mazuronis, head of sales for the Middle East and Africa at UAB Baltic Filter, a maker of automotive filters, says that orders have been lined up until about the middle of December. Of course, assuming there are no force majeure events, which remains a real possibility. In recent months, the company was able to keep its clients and even attract new customers. He says that supply processes in the spring were slowed by transport-related problems and export volumes decreased by up to 10%, but he is quite optimistic regarding the planned annual results. At present, companies tend to seek shorter supply-chain solutions, to fill orders as rapidly as possible. The current situation is favourable for Lithuanian companies because EU automotive sector companies see the positive price-performance ratio offered by Lithuania’s manufacturers and, instead of ordering from Asia, more and more often choose European manufacturers.

Tomas Kocius, General Manager of UAB Proton Engineering Lithuania, reports that at his company, “a recovery can be felt after the standstill”. The company’s operations directly depend on the main location in Sweden, where parts are made and then assembled in Lithuania. He says that it is difficult to make a forecast for 2021, but the company is fully prepared to continue producing for Scania and Volvo.

Evaldas Rimša, CEO of UAB Baltec CNC Technologies, a maker of precision mechanical components and provider of CNC milling and turning services, says that production and orders in the second half of 2020 have almost returned to normal.

Kristina Šarkinaitė, representing UAB Metec, also reports increasing orders and describes the current situation at the company as good. The company has hired additional staff to ensure timely order fulfilment. In terms of turnover, the company hopes to perhaps match last year’s total, if the pandemic does not disrupt operations. Šarkinaitė notes that clients have recently become more demanding, but the company has been able to meet clients’ fast-changing requirements and adapt to the current market situation.

Petras Kadziauskas, CEO of UAB Elameta, says that for the time being the company has sufficient orders and expects that a decline like what occurred in March and April will be avoided at least through the end of the year. September and October were noteworthy for the large number of orders received, but it is difficult to make a forecast for 2021. UAB Elameta cooperates with other BACC member-companies, UAB Hi-Steel and UAB Metec, and the companies depend on each other. Successful cooperation is expected in 2021, too.

Today’s recovery in the automotive sector can in part be explained by manufacturers in the European Union seeking to produce and register cars before the end of 2020, because strict CO2 emission standards will take effect from next year. In addition, seeking to avoid or at least reduce the risk of supply-chain disruptions, clients are increasing orders for BACC member-companies. The growing order volume demonstrates that BACC member-companies are competitive and make great products at attractive prices. The situation at BACC member-companies is quite stable, and it is expected to maintain the current acceleration as much as today’s situation allows.


BACC members have more orders than at the same time last year

This autumn, the majority of BACC members have more orders than at the same time last year. The increase for these members ranges from 20% to 50%. All companies understand the dangers posed by the pandemic and are trying to get ready for the near future.

Why do BACC member-companies have more orders at the moment? There are several causes:

# The automotive market is recovering, and getting back on track. Consumer expectations have improved as well. Those are the main factors for why operations in the automotive sector are picking up speed.

# As the second wave of Covid-19 approaches (or has already arrived), in order to avoid or minimize disruption of delivery, OEM and TIER1 clients are increasing orders for BACC companies.

# It shows Lithuanian BACC companies are competitive and are able to make products of good quality at attractive prices.


UAB “SLT Industrial Components”: production of breathing air cylinders

UAB “SLT Industrial Components”, which operates in Biržai, searching for solutions to produce air cylinders that have recently been in high demand for pulmonary ventilation and anaesthesia what also saves jobs due to decreased needs in automotive sector.
The target is 90,000 units worth of air cylinders per week. At present, the company manufactures 0.5l, 1l and 3l capacity air cylinders. It plans to increase its capacity and dedicate over 20 people for this project. Each shift trains 2 new people, who would have been responsible for the manufacture of other products at the company previously. “We would like to run continuous operations 24/7,” says the Director, Mr Variakojis. The head of the company stresses that with the US automotive industry entering a slowdown, established brands are urgently ramping up their efforts to start or have already started manufacturing pulmonary ventilation equipment for this country suffering from the pandemic. UAB “SLT Industrial Components”, which operates in Biržai, will also attempt to meet the demand for this kind of equipment both in the USA and across Europe.

Until recently, UAB “SLT Industrial Components” has been manufacturing parts for a variety of industries, including the medical industry. The company supplies its products to a Swedish company, Nolato MediTor, which in turn caters for 25% of the global market of breathing air cylinders.


HISTEEL: a reliably-expanding circle of customers and 2.9% growth in turnover

In 2019, Kaunas-based UAB HISTEEL increased its serial production volume and turnover grew by 2.9%. It is one of the leading and most modern metal-processing companies in the Baltic region, producing 850 different articles in production runs ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000,000 units per year.

The core business of HISTEEL is production of parts by punching and drawing, production of small welded parts and assembly of fittings. The company specialises in the making of prototypes and small series production, when a given article may be produced in a production run ranging in size from several to 1,000 units in a year, as well as mass production, when up to 5,000,000 units of a given article may be produced in a year. Automotive manufacturers and other industrial sectors figure prominently among the company’s customers.

The company’s deputy managing director, Dainius Volskis, emphasises that “2019 was a successful year for our company. Rising volume in serial production and outsourcing of production from Western Europe let the company generate a larger profit and invest in machinery and equipment. Our expanding list of customers gives us the opportunity to plan for continued growth in the next year, despite the situation of our market sector being quite complicated.” HISTEEL’s turnover was 10.5 million euro in 2018 and 10.8 million euro in 2019, that is, an increase of 2.9%.

Liudmila Valinčienė, the head of sales, draws attention to the investment in machinery and equipment, thanks to which the production process has become significantly more efficient. “Last year, companies across our sector in Europe experienced decreasing sales volume, but that encouraged us to look for alternative solutions,” she says. HISTEEL constantly pursues innovations and has been able to find long-term sales partners.

At present, product assortment includes 850 different articles. One of the company’s main advantages is the fact that a customer can find everything it needs under one roof:

  • From design to technical calculation and tool production in-house.
  • Coordinated and effective processes using optimal solution methods.
  • HISTEEL stays with the customer throughout the entire process: from the initial idea right through to serial production.

The company exports most of its production to customers in Germany, France, Austria, Hungary and the Baltic region. Only about 12% of production stays in Lithuania.

Liudmila Valinčienė, the head of sales, says that the company invested heavily in 2019 in employee training, to develop specialised skills. Employees with exceptional competencies contribute greatly to improving efficient production processes and increasing sales.

She emphasises that in recent years, the company has been audited by several foreign companies prior to possibly beginning the production of certain articles. According to her, the results of these audits have been quite successful, so in the future the company expects some significant orders.


UAB Baltic Filter: the productivity in manufacturing sectors increased almost 4 times

Baltic Filter

Last year was especially successful for UAB Baltic Filter, a producer and supplier of automotive air, salon, fuel, oil and other filters. As the company continued to apply innovative technologies, two new automated production lines (using robots) were installed, eliminating the possibility of production defects resulting from human error. The productivity in these sectors increased almost 4 times and turnover exceeded 10 mln. Eur.

The head of the company, Vytas Mazuronis, believes in its success. “Our distinctive feature in the market is that we produce filters in which parts of the inner housing have been patented. The efficiency of such filters increases by up to 8%.” Know-how is one of the factors with the greatest effect on the company’s growth. In addition to automated production lines using 7 robots, two new production workshops with warehouses have been built.

UAB Baltic Filter produces more than 2,500 types of automotive air, salon, fuel, oil and indoor ventilation system filters. The company supplies filters and filter elements for cars and trucks, motorcycles, agricultural equipment and other vehicles.

UAB Baltic Filter prioritises environmental protection. The company’s operating guidelines are based on the strictest world standards, with much attention paid to using innovative technologies, ensuring environmental protection, optimising production processes, having as little effect on the environment as possible and preventing the slightest pollution by industrial waste. Such industrial waste is sorted and recycled, using a circular waste recycling scheme.

Employee initiatives, brain-storming and independence are valued. Employees are involved in maintaining and improving the integrated management system. Employee trainings are periodically organised. Conditions for personnel on the job and on breaks are being improved; facilities have been renovated, and for those who enjoy active recreation and sport, there is a sport area.

The company exports 93% of its production to more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, and only 7% of production stays in Lithuania. The largest customers are EU countries, West Africa and the Near East. Despite its rapid growth in 2019, the company has set ambitious targets for 2020. Additional investments and production lines as well as a search for new partners abroad are planned. It is planned to launch a new, innovative product for indoor air ventilation system filtering.

The company emphasises the main factors driving the company’s growth: “The excellent, coordinated work of our staff, our flexibility, our ability to satisfy our customers’ needs quickly, effectively, properly, in a timely manner and at the optimal price”.

Baltic Filter 2

Baltic Filter 3