South Korean company Doosan will be establishing a 32 billion forint (EUR 100 million) automotive industry investment in Tatabánya with 4.7 billion forints (EUR 14.6 million) in state funding.

At the announcement of the investment on Wednesday in Budapest, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told the press that the new plant, which will employ 181 people, will be the only plant in Europe to manufacture copper foil for the batteries of electric vehicles.

“The plant will be producing the invaluable part for 22 million vehicles-a-year, and is also expected to export to China and the United States”, he added.

According to the Minister, the Tatabánya plant could also meet domestic demand, in view of the fact that Audi has already begun production of electric motors in Hungary, and BMW is also preparing to manufacture electric cars in Debrecen. Mr. Szijjártó stressed that as many similar investments as possible must be realised by Hungary amidst stiff international competition, to enable the automotive industry to also be successful in its new era.

As he explained, the sector provides 28.8 percent of Hungarian industrial production, last years its production value exceeded 8100 billion forints (EUR 25.1bn), and 91.7 percent of the vehicles manufactured here are exported. According to the politician, Hungarian automotive industry performance is expected to exceed last year’s production record again this year. Mr. Szijjártó also welcomed the fact that this is the third major investment to be made in Tatabánya, and that South Korea is one of the most important investors in Hungary. “Following 500 million dollars in exports to the far eastern country last year, exports already exceeded 310 million dollars during the first eight months of this year, and trade flow has increased by 54 percent compared to last year”, he said. János Bencsik, the region’s Member of Parliament (Fidesz), said the investment was a strategic breakthrough in the history of the Tatabánya-Környe industrial park.

“The highly-qualified Hungarian workforce also plays a part in the success of the companies operating here and investors contribute to the development of the region”, he added. The Doosan Group’s European President, Jongwoo Kim, said that construction of the plant, which will have a production capacity of 50 thousand tons-a-year, will begin this year and is expected to be completed by the second half of 2019.

Mr. Kim said he expects the investment to increase the company’s market share, and expects demand for the products manufactured by the Tatabánya plant to increase rapidly over the coming years.

As he explained, according to the company’s forecast, the current 75-thousand-ton annual demand for copper foil could increase to 955 thousand tons by 2025 thanks to the proliferation of electric vehicles, meaning the rate of growth is high, and could approach 50 percent-a-year. In 2017, Doosan, which was established in 1896, achieved 17 billion dollars in turnover, and the company employs a total of 38 thousand people in 37 countries.

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)