In a recent article which appeared in the FAZ today, Wolfang Eder (CEO) listed a number of reasons his employer Voestalpine was investing EUR 50 million in an auto components manufacturing plant (Georgia) and a whopping EUR 550 million in a steel plant (Texas) in the US and not in Austria.
1. The Economics Minister sent a very personalised letter to CEO Eder offering help should he require any assistance whatsover. He’d never received any such letter from EU countries.
2. Energy costs: Costs for natural gas are much cheaper, thanks to fracking, than they are in Europe where environmental issues have priority, or are more expensive to handle.
3. Wage costs: Due to social welfare and benefits costs they are 30% higher in Europe than in the US.
4. Land cost: Land is 20x more expensive in certain EU countries than in the mentioned US regions.
5. Regulatory cost: Environmental and climate policies of the EU are constantly changing and becoming increasingly burdensome for manufacturers. For example with tough CO2 emmission targets.
These are some of the most important reasons why the question of location was made in favor of the US over the EU and Austria in particular.