“ZF’s new investment clearly shows that the world’s largest, most competitive and most rapidly developing corporations regard Hungary as a place where it is worth investing”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at ZF Hungary Ltd.’s factory inauguration in Eger on Thursday.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed: “The companies that determine the industrial revolution of the modern age are realising increasingly large investments in Hungary one after the other, because they have confidence in the country and in the diligence and dedication of the Hungarian people”.

“One such company is ZF, which has constructed a new, 40 thousand square metre production plant in Eger with an investment of 51.5 billion forints (EUR 170 million) and 6.7 billion forints (EUR 20.4 million) in Government funding, creating over 770 new jobs by the end of next year as a result. 150 thousand eight-speed automatic gearboxes-a-year will be manufactured here thanks to the investment, with capacity increasing to 500 thousand within a few years according to plan”, the Minister said.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

“ZF Hungary Ltd. currently employs 1265 people, and in addition to the number of employees, the ratio of Hungarian suppliers will also be increasing from its current level of 45 percent, further strengthening these enterprises and creating more new jobs in the region”, he added.

The Hungarian economy is export-orientated, and its export success determines the success of the whole national economy. Last year, the country exceeded 100 billion euros in annual exports for the first time in its history, and this index showed further significant growth during the first half of 2018, the Minister indicated.

Our trade flow with Germany also broke all previous records last year, and increased by a further 7 percent year-on-year to 28 billion euros between January and the end of June this year. ZF’s new plant is also contributing to the continuation of this trend, he noted.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that a new world order is in development, with a global trade war in the making and a digital revolution underway. This is creating a new competitive situation for both countries and enterprises. “The modern industrial revolution is being led by the automotive industry, which is the backbone of the Hungarian economy, and accordingly it is important for us to achieve success with relation to as many investments of this kind as possible”, he said.

It is for this reason that the Government has introduced Europe’s lowest, flat rate taxes and most flexible employment regulations, and has restructured the secondary and higher education systems, and the country’s political stability and the resulting dependability are also having a positive effect on investment decisions, he pointed out.

With relation to the performance of the automotive industry, Mr. Szijjártó said that the sector, which employs over 167 thousand people, provides 29.3 percent of Hungary’s total industrial production, with 91 percent of the sector’s products going to export. During last year’s record year the sector generated a production value exceeding 8 trillion forints (EUR 24.4bn), with the production value for the first half of this year already reaching 4.5 trillion forints (EUR 13.7bn).

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

The Minister said the guarantors of continued growth include the fact that Audi recently began production of its electric motors, the foundation stone of the second Mercedes plant in Kecskemét was laid a few weeks ago, BMW is constructing a new factory in Debrecen, and Peugeot has also chosen its plant in Szentgotthárd as the site for the production of its new engines.

Praising the importance of the new investment, which was realised over a period of 18 months, Vice-President of the ZD Group Michael Hankel stressed that the company had opted for Eger because the workforce there has major experience in the manufacturing of gearboxes, in addition to which the infrastructure capabilities of both the city and the region are favourable.

ZF has been manufacturing gearboxes for commercial vehicles in Eger for over two decades. The new plant will produce one of the company’s most successful products, the 8-gear automatic gearbox designed for cars, he explained, adding that in future the company would like to rely even more on local suppliers.

Photo: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

In his speech, Ministerial Commissioner and Member of Parliament for the city of Eger and the surrounding area Zsolt Nyitrai stressed that the newly inaugurated plant was the largest industrial investment project in the city’s history. “Anyone who wants to work in Eger and the surrounding area can now do so”, he stated.

Mayor of Eger László Habis said ZF’s investment was unequalled in the history of the city and its industry, explaining that the local authority had provided the use of the 10 hectare local government-owned plot required for the plant and a three-year period free of construction tax, in addition to which the city has realised a significant infrastructure development project to assure the success of the investment.

ZF is one of the world’s largest automotive industry suppliers within the field of drive chain and chassis technology, and both active and passive safety technologies. The company group is present on 230 sites in 40 countries and employs some 146 thousand people. Last year, the company achieved 36.4 million euros in turnover. The company spends over 6 percent of its revenues on research and development.