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Mar 08, 2016

Hungarian Automotive Industry Exports Have Never Been So Large

“Hungarian automotive industry exports have never been so large; the level of exports reached 19.6 billion euros in 2015, an increase of some 14 percent or 2.4 billion euros compared to the previous year”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Monday.

At an automotive industry conference organised by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), Mr. Szijjártó said that in 2015 the automotive industry had achieved a production value of 7833.3 billion forints (EUR 25.3bn) in Hungary, which is a 17.6 percent increase compared to the previous year. The number of people employed within the automobile industry increased by 13 percent to over 149 thousand, he added. The significance of the sector is also indicated by the fact that while 20 percent of total Hungarian exports were derived from the automotive industry in 2014, this ratio increased to 21.6 percent last year, he continued.

Turnover from exports increased by 16 percent while revenues from domestic sales increased by 36 percent as a result of which the Hungarian automotive industry’s share of the total manufacturing industry now exceeds 30 percent.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that despite the encouraging figures further effort is required to maintain performance in 2016 and accordingly the Government is planning to introduce several measures including in the interests of filling the sector’s demand for highly trained professionals and providing further financial incentives to the industry. During the past 18 months the HIPA has received 39 billion forints in government funding towards 349 billion forints (EUR 1.13bn) in automotive industry investments, the Minister said. The direct and indirect support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increasing the ratio of Hungarian suppliers are also important criteria, the Minister added.

President of the HIPA Róbert Ésik told those present that 2.5 million engines and more than half a million motor vehicles had been manufactured in Hungary last year. Almost half of the investment deals successfully negotiated by the Agency were related to the automotive industry as a result of which some 1.6 billion euros have been injected into the sector during the past two years leading to the creation of 8000 new jobs in Hungary. According to the information booklet provided, 760.8 million euros were invested in the Hungarian automotive industry in 2015 within the framework of 67 successful investment projects.

Mr. Ésik also noted that the Agency is currently negotiating a record number of 169 projects, 40 of which are related to the automotive industry, and if these projects are realised according to current parameters they will lead to the creation of a further 8000 new jobs.

Hungary isn’t just operating as an assembly plant; an increasingly important role is being given to research & development and innovation, in addition to which more and more Hungarian SMEs are being included in the value chain, he highlighted. At the conference, which was organised for the third time this year, the leaders of automotive industry enterprises operating in Hungary reported on the results of their 2015 activities, after which a panel discussion on opportunities for the Hungarian automotive industry was held in the afternoon with the inclusion of industry experts.