Posted on 16/01/2020 · Posted in News







The Automotive Cluster Bulgaria Annual Gala was held on January 14 in Sofia Tech Park, Innovation Forum “John Atanasoff”. For the first time, the annual awards were presented to the automotive industry in Bulgaria. In the presence of deputy Prime Minister Mr. Tomislav Donchev the cluster celebrated the most successful year for the automotive industry in the country, in which it took the leading position with over 11% of GDP and about 65 thousand employees.

The ceremony was co-hosted by Arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov, CEO of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, Mr. Ivan Mihaylov, President of the Cluster and Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2017) and Member of the Board of the Cluster.

Automotive Cluster Bulgaria has distributed awards, divided into nine categories.


The main award “Investment of the Year” was given to Etem Gestamp for its consistent investment in an aluminum extrusion plant, which produces aluminum battery boxes for electric vehicles and aluminum safety profiles for premium models. The award was presented by Mr. Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister to Mr. George Menzelopoulos, Executive Director of Etem Gestamp.

The “Best HR Practice” Award was received by Festo Production for its long-standing and consistent human resources policy. Festo is one of the companies with the best cooperation with educational and scientific institutions in the country. The award was presented to the manager of Festo Production Mr. Georgi Atanasov by Mrs. Denitsa Sacheva, Minister of Labor and Social Policy.

The award for “R&D Solution of the Year” went to Visteon Electronics for the high-tech Active Drive Assist system – the onboard system of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, built by three independent operating systems. The role of the Bulgarian development center of Visteon is exceptional – from the engineering management of the project to the very development of the individual elements of the system architecture. The manager of Visteon Electronics Mr. Ivan Mihaylov received the award from Mr. Lachezar Borisov, Deputy Minister of Economy.

“Industrial Development Investment” award went to Bosch for the Engineering Center Sofia, opened few weeks ago. In the new center, nearly 200 talented software professionals are developing innovative technologies for the automotive industry in areas such as driver assistance systems, automated driving and electric mobility. The goal of the Bosch team is to make the Engineering center a global hub for automotive software solutions. The award was presented by Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2017) and Member of the ACB Board.

Melexis received the “High-Tech Product Award“ for its high-tech semiconductor solutions. The award was presented by Mr. Chavdar Zlatev, Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors of First Investment Bank, to Mr. Sylvain Collot, Managing Director of Melexis Bulgaria.

Mr. Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance, presented EY’s “Automotive Supporting Company” Award. The award was given to Mrs. Nevena Kovacheva, associate partner at the company. EY is a global leader in auditing, tax and financial consulting and transactions. The company has been present on the Bulgarian market since 1992 and has a team of over 260 professionals.

The “Local Investment Award” leave to the city of Pazardzhik. The award was presented by Mr. Kalin Kamenov, Mayor of Vratsa and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Municipalities to Mr. Artin Buzdigyan, representative of RAIS. The Pazardzhik company is a leading company in Bulgaria for the production and recycling of big CNC machines. Established in 1994 in Pazardzhik, it begins its business by recycling Bulgarian CNC machines. Gradually, the activity was directed towards the production of new metal-cutting machines, with the company being the only manufacturer of large-scale vertical machining centers in the country.

The prize for “Educational Institution with the Most Contribution to Industry”, presented by Mrs. Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science went to Sofia Technical University. Prof. Ivan Kralov, Rector of the University, emphasized the role of the university in the training of high-tech students in the automotive industry.

Apart from the nominations, there was also a special award from the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria Board for “Recruitment Company with the Most Contribution to the Industry”. This distinction went to Manpower. The award was presented to Mrs. Maria Stoeva, Business Development Manager at Manpower by Mr. Vladimir Danailov, Deputy. Mayor of Sofia Municipality.

As part of the event, the members of the Cluster also received their 2020-2021 membership plaques.