Opel to Expand Plant in Hungary

Will create 1000 jobs at plant as well as another 2,500 to 3,000 indirectly via suppliers

German automaker Opel, which is part of General Motors, will invest $656 million to expand its manufacturing plant in western Hungary, the economy ministry said on Sept. 21.

Hungary will contribute some 7.5 billion forint (US$ 35 million) to the project, which will create some 1,000 jobs by 2012, as well as another 2,500 to 3,000 indirectly via suppliers, the ministry said.

"This investment will contribute to our plan to create one million jobs over the next 10 years," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a joint press conference with Opel Vice-President Reinald Hoben.

The biggest investment by General Motors in Central Europe, the project would also help Hungary reach its forecast economic growth of 2.5%-3% in 2011, the ministry said.

Opel, which has been present in Hungary for 20 years, will produce three different types of engines at its new expanded plant, to comply with "Euro 6" European emmission standards.

At peak capacity, expected by 2015, the new engine plant will be capable of producing up to 500,000 engines annually.

Two other major German carmakers are present in Hungary: Audi in Gyor in the west, and Mercedes-Benz which is building a new plant in Kecskemet, in the southeast of the country, that is due to be operational by 2012.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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