Thursday, 23th October 2014, Velenje, Slovenia
Read on as we take a tour of our HQ in Velenje – the town that Gorenje built.
Our name actually comes from the small Slovenian village of Gorenje, but here we focussed solely on the manufacturing of agricultural machinery. We then moved to the little town of Velenje in 1960, as business was booming and it offered plenty of space for us to grow.
Nowadays we are one of the best-known appliance brands in Europe. Our factory produces around 8,000 -10,000 units a day, with just 5% of these products staying in Slovenia and the rest exported around the world.
On arrival in Velenje, it does not take long to see that the production plant has literally shaped the town, taking up 150 acres and employing 6,000 local residents in both production and back office roles.
We operate a local hotel, restaurant and even have our own roundabout with the Gorenje name emblazoned across it.
Ines Sotosek from regional back office was our host, and she tells us she is a child of Gorenje: “Not only is Gorenje a huge part of Velenje’s heritage, it has grown to become the fabric of local community. My parents met at the Gorenje production plant many years ago and I even lived in the Gorenje accommodation as a child. Funnily enough, I also met my own husband through work, so we have carried on the Gorenje family for another generation!”
She explains why the majority of employees at the production facility are women: “Velenje was historically a mining town, and there is a still a great deal of mining done in the area. Gorenje offered jobs to miners’ wives and in the past there were more women than men employed at the company. Nowadays it’s almost 50:50.”
It’s clear that Gorenje has played a huge part in bringing it into the 21st century. The success of the company is in a large part thanks to new product development research, as we are passionate about innovating to create the most technologically-advanced and stylish appliances on the market.
Ines concludes: “I’m proud to work for a company that has helped to shape the appliance market throughout Europe and across the world.”