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Ikarus hopes to benefit from Trump’s job creation policies

Initiatives

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Hungary-based bus manufacturer Ikarus is eyeing an entry to the U.S. market, which owner Gábor Széles believes could speed up after President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated, according to an interview Széles gave Hungarian daily Magyar Hírlap last Friday.

“The program of President-elect Donald Trump is about creating new jobs in the southern states. Therefore, I expect that negotiations [on starting production in the U.S.] could speed up after January, when the new president is inaugurated,” Széles told pro-government daily newspaper Magyar Hírlap when saying he would focus on operations at Ikarus, after selling Echo TV

“We are prepared both in technology and capital demand for such a step, and we are planning to manufacture an annual 5,000 buses in South Carolina and Florida,” the owner said about plans.

Széles, who has holdings in Magyar Hírlap that he plans to keep and also the Videoton group, said he is aiming to raise production of Ikarus to an annual 3,000 in Hungary, of which approximately 500 would supply the Hungarian market, in line with the government’s national bus production strategy projecting domestic bus production of 1,000 a year.

Széles recalled that Ikarus is negotiating with numerous foreign partners on the possibility of setting up joint ventures to produce buses at the firm’s Hungarian base in Székesfehérvár. Talks are at an advanced stage to set up bus-making joint ventures in Kazakhstan, Iran, Nigeria, the U.S. and Cuba, the businessman said, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

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