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Audi Hungaria revenue falls more than 4% in 2008

The Hungarian unit of German car maker Audi had revenue of €5.6 billion in 2008, down 4.3% from 2007 as it made too few diesel engines to meet demand while producing too many “Otto” engines, financial director Johannes Roschek told Hungarian journalists in Ingolstadt.

Audi Hungaria Motor had pre-tax profit of €535 million in 2008, managing director of Audi Hungaria Motor Thomas Faustmann said.

Audi's plant in Győr (NW Hungary) turned out 1.9 million engines in 2008 and it started serial production of 13 new engine types. The plant makes some 400 engine variations, including ones that runs on alternative fuel such as ethanol.

The plant assembled 60,360 vehicles - including Audi TT Coupes, TT Roadsters and Audi A3 Cabriolets - in 2008, 6% more than in 2007.

Speaking about the outlook for 2009, Faustmann said engine production would be hit by the planned reduction in the number of vehicles made. Cost cuts and flexible use of staff are important tasks, he added.

Rather than shortening the work week, Audi Hungaria Motor has made changes to wages combined with extra vacation days, allowing the plant to shut down for days at a time and putting workers at less of a disadvantage, Faustmann said. The changes have been made to conform to demand on the market, but the summer shutdown is certain to last three weeks, he said, answering a question. At the same time, Audi is looking for a solution, together with the Hungarian government, to better use work time.

Asked about the recent weakening of the forint, Roschek said the plant's costs as well as its revenue are in euros, but the weaker forint hurts Audi's suppliers. (MTI – Econews)