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Gov’t agrees with BMW to support Debrecen investment

An agreement was reached last Friday with executives of BMW on government support for a EUR 1 billion plant the German carmaker will build in Debrecen (231 km east of Budapest), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said after talks in Munich, as reported by Hungarian news agency MTI.

A contract on the support will be signed on October 12, Szijjártó said. The scale of the funding, as well as the details of the contract, will be made public, he added.

BMW announced in late July that it would build the factory in Debrecen, with capacity to turn out 150,000 conventional and electric vehicles a year, and employing more than 1,000 people once production starts.

Szijjártó said he had told executives of BMW, as well as executives of fellow carmaker Audi, that Hungary would not support an initiative by the European Commission to set even more ambitious targets for emissions reductions by 2030. The new targets could damage the competitiveness of Germany’s automotive industry, he argued, while noting that Audi has invested EUR 9 bln in the country and employs some 13,000 people.

Szijjártó also met with executives of Volkswagen and Schaeffler, as well as with Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology Franz Josef Pschierer; Bavarian Minister of State for Digital, Media and Europe Georg Eisenreich; and Edmund Stoiber, the former minister-president of Bavaria and honorary chair of the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria.