Magyar Suzuki Again Strove for the Max in 2022

Automotive

Magyar Suzuki closed a busy year that saw the plant’s employees, suppliers, and partners in Esztergom spend the 12 months in continuous replanning. As the only European manufacturer of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, the Hungarian factory further strengthened its position within the company group.

As Suzuki Toshihiro, the president and managing director of Suzuki Motor Corporation, and senior consultant Suzuki Osamu highlighted during their visit to Esztergom in June, they highly appreciate the understanding and cooperation of Magyar Suzuki employees in terms of anti-coronavirus actions and shift changes due to the lack of spare parts, which enabled the continuity of production.

At the same time, they indicated that the Hungarian plant could play a leading role within the Suzuki Group in implementing plans supporting carbon neutrality.

For decades, Magyar Suzuki has been a stable pillar of the Suzuki Group; indeed, it is the third largest manufacturing unit after Japan and India. During its 30 years of operation in Hungary, it has accumulated a very high level of competencies and knowledge, primarily in engineering, logistics and IT.

Since April 1, 2019, Magyar Suzuki has also been the pan-European logistics center of the parent company: the supply of spare parts in all European countries is coordinated from Esztergom via seven regional warehouses. Magyar Suzuki also provides IT services and developments to all the European units of the Suzuki Group.

Thanks to the expertise of its Hungarian engineers, the Esztergom plant has more opportunities in developing new models. Previously, the experimental innovation of new series and series updates belonged to the local subsidiary, but in the case of the latest S-Cross model, presented in November last year, the design prototype was also made in Hungary.

It proved a successful project: the Suzuki S-Cross won the audience award in the Hungarian Car of the Year competition, and it finished second in the overall Hungarian Car of the Year 2022 category. This year, the hybrid range manufactured in Esztergom has been further expanded: The Vitara has been available since the beginning of 2022, and the new S-Cross Strong hybrid version for the last six months.

Continuous Manufacturing the Goal

Among the challenges for Magyar Suzuki this year, the lack of chips played the most prominent role. The company constantly analyzed the market situation with its electronic component suppliers and worked to ensure continuous product supply. Production and planning were also affected this year by the Russo-Ukrainian war.

In the current economic situation, the priorities of Magyar Suzuki have not changed. The company has continuously optimized costs, developed its operations and processes and is developing production in line with consumer needs and the regulatory environment. The firm’s employees have saved Magyar Suzuki more than HUF 3 billion with their development ideas and innovations over the past 13 years.

Cleaner Waters, Improved Traffic Culture

In terms of CSR, Magyar Suzuki primarily supports regional organizations and institutions because this is how it wants to help the local community. This year, however, the support of Ukrainian refugees was given a prominent role in its activities. The Suzuki Group aided refugees from Ukraine with a donation of EUR 1 million through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Of this, EUR 150,000 were donated by Magyar Suzuki to three aid organizations: UNICEF Hungary, the Hungarian Red Cross, and the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service.

The company also offered six Suzuki Vitara passenger cars for use by aid organizations involved in helping refugees near the Hungary-Ukraine border. It also supported the work of the Esztergom Police Headquarters, a cooperation that has lasted for more than seven years: In May, the law enforcement body received a new Suzuki Vitara.

In addition to humanitarian assistance, the Esztergom manufacturer also drew attention to protecting the purity of natural waters with an outdoor installation, and campaigned for safe and courteous traffic in the fall. The “Together on the Roads” program, launched this year with experts and opinion leaders, aims to improve Hungarian traffic culture by emphasizing the responsibility of all of us.

In addition, the traditional cooperation with UNICEF Hungary continued this year, with Magyar Suzuki helping the organization’s child protection work in several projects.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of December 16, 2022.

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