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Opel sales rise 50% in Hungary in 2014

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Opel Magyarország, the Hungarian unit of German car manufacturer Opel, saw a 50% year-on-year sales increase in Hungary in 2014, managers of Opel Magyarország told journalists yesterday.

The Szentgotthárd-based engine plant is expected to raise its output due to higher demand for Flex engines, which could in turn increase headcount by 500 this year from the current 1,400, Opel said.

Vehicles sold by Opel brand dealers grew by a year-on-year 51.5% to 10,195 in 2014, while the market expanded by 23.4% overall. Last year was the fourth consecutive year for Opel as a market leader in passenger car sales, with 13.41% of the market and sales of 9,051 passenger cars in 2014.

This year, Opel Magyarország hopes to surpass its growth projections and exceed the market average for 2015, in a market that is expected to grow by approximately 15%. It also expects to retain its position as market leader for passenger cars, managing director Gábor Koncz said, noting that Opel plans to launch 27 new models and 17 new engines.

Plant Manager Tamás Solt said the Szentgotthárd plant will produce approximately 580,000 engines this year, increasing production volume by 50% as compared to 2014.

In addition to the more than 100,000 engines made by the Flex engine plant last year, the old engine plant in Szentgotthard turned out 275,000 engines in 2014, 70% of which were exported overseas. The unit also made 200,000 engine components to meet Chinese orders.

The plant manager noted that the Flex plant, which started production in 2013, began serial production last summer of the three-cylinder version of the small petrol engine, and other new models are expected. The plant hopes to reach full capacity by 2016-17.

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