German engineering giant Bosch on Wednesday laid the cornerstone of a new base in Budapest.
The first phase of the base, which will be the home of the Budapest Development Centre, is being built at a cost of HUF 6bn.
The construction of the base shows Bosch's commitment to Hungarian knowledge and Hungarian engineers, said Thomas E Beyer, the Bosch group's chief in Hungary. The first phase of the base will be completed at the beginning of 2013 and the second phase will start next year and finish in 2014, he added.
In addition to the development centre, the base will be the site of Bosch's vehicle parts and electric hand tools divisions, the administration department and the Budapest headquarters of Bosch Rexroth.
Bosch established its development centre in Budapest in 2005. The centre, which operates in a rented building, recently hired its 600th engineer. The new base is being built on a 32,000sqm plot next to the centre.
Development centre head Jan Peter Stadler said Bosch spent HUF 11bn on research and development in Hungary last year and will spend HUF 12bn this year. The center’s engineers, who serve five vehicle technology divisions, produced 25 automotive industry patents last year, he added.
István Ács, managing director of Bosch Rexroth's Hungarian unit, said the new base would be the home to the company's sales and logistics centre, its hydraulic units and automation systems plant, and its customer service and training centre.
The Bosch group's units in Hungary had combined revenue of HUF 401bn in 2010, up 27% from the previous year. Sales in Hungary were up 8% at HUF 118bn.
Bosch employs about 6,300 people in Hungary.
A month earlier, Bosch inaugurated a €20m automotive technology plant at its base in Miskolc (NE Hungary).
State secretary for employment policy Sándor Czomba said at the ceremony on Wednesday that Hungary's government is keeping in mind stability and predictability, and it wants to take long term measures that will improve the country's competitiveness.