“This latest investment also assures that Hungary will remain the European bastion of the automotive industry, despite major competition for investment on the continent and throughout the world”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó emphasised on Tuesday in Székesfehérvár at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Arconic-Köfém Limited’s new 137 million dollar, 17 thousand square metre production hall.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that thanks to the new project, U.S. company Arconic will be manufacturing half a million more allow wheels and creating a minimum of 200 new jobs, noting that the Hungarian Government is providing a development tax allowance to aid the investment project, which equates to 8.3 billion forints (EUR 26.4 million) in savings for the company.

CEO of Arconic Inc. Chip Blankenship stressed that since the company began its Hungarian operations in 1993 it has invested over 550 million dollars and currently employs 2300 people. According to the Minister, the tax allowance is a “good deal for all of Hungary” in view of the fact that analysts are expecting a 70 percent increase in demand on the alloy wheel market by 2022, and the increase in capacity of the plant could result in a 100 million dollar increase in revenues.

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Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that Arconic is a global market-leading supplier for the aviation and automotive industries, the economic performance of which has become a determining factor for the whole Hungarian national economy.

28.6 percent of the total output of Hungarian industry is derived from the automotive industry, which achieved a record-breaking production value of 8038 billion forints (EUR 25.6bn) last year, he added.

The Minister reported on similar developments within the Hungarian metallurgical industry: the sector grew by 19 percent last year and achieved a production value of almost 2300 billion forints (EUR 7.3bn). Some 120 thousand people are employed within the sector in Hungary, and 60 percent of the goods produced are exported, he noted.

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Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that American enterprises are the second largest investors in Hungary after Germany. The 1700 American companies currently operating in Hungary provide jobs to 100 thousand people and significantly contribute to enable the growth of the Hungarian economy to remain in the 4 percent range, he added.

Chip Blankenship told reporters that the company’s new plant is contributing significantly to the production of the highest quality alloy wheels, and indicated that the number of people employed at the plant will increase to a total of 700 before the expansion of the facility is completed in 2019.

Chargé d'affaires of the American Embassy to Budapest David Kostelancik said Arconic is capable of achieving success at a global level because it concentrates on innovation. He said that in his opinion the skill and commitment of the Hungarian workforce and the country’s position as an attractive investment destination both contributed to the decision to expand the plant.

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Mayor of Székesfehérvár András Cser-Palkovics (Fidesz) said the 25 billion forint investment was an acknowledgement of the performance of the plant’s employees on the part of the company’s leadership. They are bringing world class quality to Hungary, he declared.

In 1993, Arconic (previously Alcoa) purchased a majority stake in the former Székesfehévrvár Light Metals Plant. Arconic plays an important role in Hungary and is one of the country’s 100 largest companies and has one of the 10 highest production values.

The company employs in excess of 2300 people. Arconic is Hungary’s top supplier to the freight transport industry, the aviation industry and the industrial gas turbine and general industrial markets via its Székesfehérvár-based Arconic Freight and Construction Solutions, Global Rolled Products and Engineering Products and Systems divisions. Arconic Fastening Systems, which supplies the aviation and freight transport industries, operates from Nemesvámos, while Arconic’s Forged Products division operates in Eger and is a leading supplier to the automotive industry.

Arconic has established its Global Services Centre in Székesfehérvár, which provides financial and administrative services for clients in Europe and parts of North America.

Arconic has sponsored Hungarian community initiatives with over 10.7 million dollars since 1993.