“Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is launching a new, 9.2 billion forint (EUR 28.3 million) investment project in Tatabánya, towards which the Hungarian Government is providing 826 million forints (EUR 2.5 million) in non-returnable funding”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Monday in Budapest.

The Minister highlighted the fact that Bridgestone works using the most modern digital technology, and that the investment means further supplier capacities for the automotive industry, which is the backbone of the Hungarian economy, and will be creating 100 new jobs.

President and Managing Director of Bridgestone Tatabánya Limited Melinda Topolcsik told the press that a new, 10 thousand square metre warehouse will be constructed within the framework of the project, in addition to which the company will be realising a further increase in capacity, enabling the plant to produce 7.2 million tyres-a-year by 2020.

With relation to the importance of the investment, Mr. Szijjártó stressed that the company will be installing total new, digital production technology, which will be facilitating the dimensional shift of the Hungarian economy. He highlighted the fact that the Hungarian economy is export-orientated, and its performance is determined to a major extent by the level of exports, and 99 percent of the products manufacture by the Tatabánya plant are exported.

Bridgestone currently provides work for 1200 Hungarian employees, and this number will increase to 1300 as a result of the investment, he added. The Foreign Minister also noted that tyres for premium category cars are shipped from Tatabánya. “Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises are also gaining a lot from Bridgestone’s activities in Tatabánya, and from this latest expansion; the company has 750 Hungarian suppliers”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted.

The Minister also mentioned that next year will be the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and Japan.

“Japan is the largest Asian investor in Hungary, and the some 170 Japanese enterprises operating here provide jobs to 25 thousand people. The Hungarian Government has concluded strategic cooperation agreements with seven Japanese corporations, including Bridgestone”, he told the press.

Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that the automotive industry, which broke all previous records last year with relation to production value, and the performance of which increased by a further 7 percent year-on-year during the first six months of this year, is significantly contributing to the growth of the Hungarian economy.

“The world’s largest tyre manufacturing companies are all present in Hungary; the production value of the tyre manufacturing sector increased by 8 percent during the first six months of this year, and the sector employs 6000 Hungarian workers”, he stated.

He also highlighted the fact that Q2 of this year produced the highest GDP growth registered in the country since 2005, and the last time so many people were working in Hungary was in 1990.

Melinda Topolcsik told the press that Bridgestone began manufacturing tyres in Tatabánya in 2008. The company is currently realising the largest investment programme in its Hungarian history, within the framework of which they are investing a total of 85 billion forints (EUR 261 million) in the Tatabánya plant. The development programme was launched in 2013 and will be completed in 2020.

The latest investment announced on Monday will increase tyre storage capacity by 180 thousand to a total of 600 thousand. In addition to a further increase in capacity and staff, a training hall and a new changing room building will also be build, the Managing Director told reporters.

Judit Czunyiné Bertalan, one of the region’s MP’s, highlighted amongst others that Bridgestone is contributing to the region’s dependable and dynamic development, and is not only involved in the region’s and the country’s life via its economic activities, but in addition also plays a significant social role.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)