Representatives of the government, corporations, universities, suppliers and professional organizations came together at the fourth Automotive Conference organized by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) on April 13, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
The event aimed to provide an opportunity for automotive industry participants to discuss present and future opportunities in vehicle manufacturing, thereby supporting cooperation and the future development of the sector.
The automotive industry in Hungary has a rich history of more than 115 years, HIPA notes. Owing to Hungarian expertise, productivity and creativity, the countryʼs strategic geographical location and favorable manufacturing costs, Hungary is one of the most attractive countries for automotive investment in Europe, HIPA claims. Automotive companies in Hungary are continuously expanding their sites and developing their products, making long-term commitments in the country, the agency adds.
Recalling last yearʼs figures, HIPA notes that it negotiated 71 investment projects in the year 2016, with 25 of these related to the automotive industry. These projects accounted for total investment of approximately EUR 1.948 billion working capital in Hungary, involving the creation of 7,759 new jobs in the period to come, HIPA adds.
The Automotive Conference – introduced by HIPA and organized for the fourth time this year – focused on the supply of professionals generated by the development of the sector, application of Industry 4.0-related technologies, the enhanced role of Hungarian suppliers and the evaluation of the sector’s activity in the year 2016.
As part of an important trend in the automotive industry in recent years, Hungary no longer functions exclusively as an automotive assembly plant, as R&D and innovation have been playing a growing role, according to HIPA. Currently the two most important directions of development in Hungary are electromobility and development related to self-driving cars, HIPA adds.
Further supporting this process is a key objective, as it not only creates jobs of high added value, but the SME sector is also offered a growing number of opportunities to participate with greater weight in the value-adding process of corporations, the agency notes.
This is why Industry 4.0, including the areas of application and underlying opportunities of the connected network of machinery and equipment, was an important topic at the afternoon panel discussion, since the combination of digital technologies creates practically limitless possibilities and accelerates development further, according to HIPA.