The first step was taken yesterday with the official signing of a "Letter of Intent to Cooperation" by Enterprise Greece (Greek Investment and Foreign Trade Company SA of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Next.e.GO SE, the only German company that manufactures electric battery vehicles.
The signing of the agreement took place online in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the heads of the relevant ministries, Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, Deputy Minister of Development and Investment, Nikos Papathanasis, Deputy Minister of Resaerch and Development, Christos Dimas, Secretary of International Economic Affairs and President of Enterprise Greece, Ioannis Smyrlis and Legal Advisor of Next.e.GO SE, Stavros Konstantinidis.
The project was presented by the protagonist of the agreement, Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Economic Diplomacy, Costas Fragogiannis, while the CEO of Enterprise Greece, George Filiopoulos, signed the agreement, together with the Chairman of the Board, Next.e. GO SE Prof. Ulrich Hermann.
"Greece is returning dynamically to the investment map of large companies. A new perspective opens for our country with this agreement ", stressed Fragogiannis, explaining that the facility will have a production capacity of 30,000-45,000 cars per year, while the amount of investment in the start-up phase is estimated at 100 million euros and is projected to employ 1,000 employees initially, while indirect jobs in the wider investment support ecosystem will amount to 5,500.
"With this agreement, Enterprise Greece highlights the political value of the reform that strengthened Economic Diplomacy," he said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us to implement it and facilitate other business prospects that are reviving industrial production in our country ". This project will promote Greece in the international market as one of the leading European nations in e-mobility, through the creation of domestic production capacity, he added.
In particular, the two sides agreed on a "principle of cooperation", which plans to set up a working group, in order to record the exact framework and the conditions for the implementation of the large investment, which will be included among the country's strategic projects. Apart from assembling cars, Next.e.GO SE will invest in the establishment of a Technology and Innovation Campus in the country, with respect to the environment and utilization of domestic human resources. According to estimates, the full agreement will be ready within the next 3-6 months, while the project will be completed in 24 months.
The investment plan includes, in particular, the production of metal components, the external thermoforming, the final assembly of the vehicles and quality control. Also the hiring of specialized staff and an extensive plan of continuous training at the company's headquarters in Aachen, Germany. A Technology and Innovation Campus is also planned that will connect scientific and technological research with production.
Yesterday's Letter of Intent to Cooperation that we signed, stressed the CEO of Enterprise Greece, George Filiopoulos, "proves in practice what we claimed from the beginning of the pandemic, that the country continues to record increased investment interest in implementing projects of significant national impact. "Enterprise Greece continues, even in difficult conditions, to perform its work, to attract investments and to improve the country's image abroad."
The new image of Greece that this project gives both in terms of e-mobility and in terms of its potential for emblematic investments worldwide was highlighted by the President of Enterprise Greece, Ioannis Smyrlis.
At Next.e.GO SE we focus on real life cycle sustainability of our products, said Ali Vezvaei, Member of the Board of Next.e.GO SE and CEO of the Group. "This includes not only the electric car and its innovative production system, but also the positive economic impact it offers to the host countries of the investment, by increasing employment, highlighting technology and enlarging the ecosystem of support companies," he explained. Proud of the co-operation with Greece, he noted that this is an excellent example of how a public-private partnership could offer long-term benefits not only to the environment but also to local communities.
For his part, Professor Hermann, CEO of Next.e. Go SE, stated that “the design and industrial features of e.GO Life 4.0 production technology, on the one hand, and the flexible business collaboration models it promotes, on the other offer, Next.e. Go SE the ability to transform urban mobility across Europe and beyond. The political choice of the Greek government for carbon-free mobility responds perfectly to our mission in Next.e.GO SE ". Expressing his satisfaction for the support of the Greek government, he stressed that this production is unique, and pointed out the determination of the German company for the successful outcome of the project.