“In contrast to Europe, the Hungarian automotive industry has performed well in the recent period in view of the fact that automotive industry production has increased by 4.8 percent compared to January 2018, and the industry’s production value has more than doubled since 2010. A gear change has occurred since the stabilisation of the economy; since 2014, Hungarian industry has grown the most rapidly out of the countries of the Visegrád Group (V4)”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said on Thursday in Kecskemét.

At the closing event of Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Limited’s plant expansion project, the Minister said. “It is also cause for pride that last year, unemployment in Hungary fell to practically 3.6 percent, which may be interpreted as meaning that anyone who wants to work can and could work”.

Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Limited’s self-financed investment of some 600 million forints (EUR 1.9 million) had increased the company’s production and storage capacity to 21 thousand square meters in Kecskemét.

The Minister explained that the dimensional shift can guarantee the further growth of Hungarian industry. “This year, a plant that produces batteries for electric vehicles will begin operations in Miskolc, and following the news of the expansion of the Mercedes plant in Kecskemét, it also became clear that BMW has also opted for Hungary and will be constructing its largest plant outside Germany in Debrecen”, he stated.

Mr. Palkovics highlighted the fact that companies that are no longer bringing production here, but rather research & technology are also choosing Hungary, since Jaguar and Continental have also both decided on Hungary. “It was in reaction to these that the construction of the self-driven vehicle test track in Zalaegerszeg was accelerated, and the Zala Self-Driven Vehicle Cluster was established with the participation of IT, electronics and automotive industry companies to combine the research and innovation capacities of intelligent transport systems”, the Minister said, adding that it is the tsk of the Hungarian Government to support these initiatives.

Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Ltd. Attila Bíró recalled that over the past twenty years the company has installed twenty new production lines at the plant, had significantly increased its product portfolio, and have achieved a new record turnover every dingle year; growth has achieved double digits every year. As he explained, last year the plant reached full capacity, and this made further expansion necessary for the installation of further production lines and an increase in storage space.

Member of the Board of Knorr-Bremse’s commercial vehicle division Thorsten Seehars told reporters that with its over 10 thousand patents, Knorr-Bremse is a sector innovator and plays a leading role within the field of mobility and transport technologies.

As he pointed out, the company’s commercial vehicle division’s new, modern production unit and testing centre was officially opened in Kecskemét in 2014. The plant produces air preparation units, various valves, and electronic braking systems for commercial  vehicles. “The expansion of the Kecskemét production unit represents a next step in the company group’s investment programme for the global development of Knorr-Bremse”, he stated.

According to publicly available cony data, Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Ltd’s net turnover from sales was 46.8 billion forints (EUR 148.5 million) in 2017, following 41.7 billion (EUR 132.4 million) in the previous business year. The company realised after tax profits of almost 3.16 billion forints (EUR 10 million) in 2017, following 3.8 billion (EUR 12 billion) in 2016. The company employs some 1100 people.

The Knorr-Bremse Group is the leading manufacturer of brake systems for trains and commercial vehicles, and in 2017 its turnover exceeded 6 billion euros.

It develops and manufactures its brake, door and engine transmission systems, as well as fuel efficiency systems, in addition to HVAC and driver assistance systems, torsion shock absorbers and drive systems, amongst many others, in thirty countries and employs around 28 thousand people.