Volkswagen AG's Audi and General Motors Co.'s Opel are set to receive subsidies from the government of Hungary to fund their expansion plans in the country, Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy disclosed at a news conference on Wednesday. Specifically, the government allowed 5.5 billion forints ($30 million) of subsidiaries for Opel and 11.2 billion forints ($61 million) for Audi.
The two automakers’ expansion plans at their Gyor and Szentgotthard facilities would be worth around 1.4 billion euros ($2 billion), as announced last year, and will enhance Hungary’s export-driven economy in the coming years.
Matolcsy disclosed that these projects would produce almost 100 percent for the country’s exports, an opportunity that will bring Hungary forward in the regional automotive competition.
In addition, the two projects would directly create 2,634 new jobs, a total of 17,500 jobs when taking into consideration the new workplaces from domestic suppliers. On another note, Audi had also announced last year that it would increase its annual output to 125,000 once full operations start by 2013 in its Hungarian plant in Gyor, where it currently makes its TT roadster, TT coupe, and A3 cabriolet.
The automaker also plans to produce its RS3 sportback in the Gyor plant. In addition, production at Daimler AG's new 800 million euro Mercedes plant in the central town of Kecskemet is also expected to begin in 2012.
With Audi’s and Daimler’s plans combined, Matolcsy said that an additional of 2 percentage points is possible to the contribution of the car sector to the country’s GDP – increasing economic output from 3.1 percent to 5 percent.