German carmaker Opel on Thursday inaugurated a €500 million engine plant at its base in Szentgotthárd (W Hungary).
The investment, which creates 800 jobs, was inaugurated by deputy chairman of Opel's management board Thomas Sedran and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Serial production of an entirely new family of engines will start at the new plant by the end of the year.
Orbán said the expansion at the base would create several thousand jobs at Opel's suppliers.
Sedran said Opel bought €400 million from Hungarian suppliers last year and wants to increase this amount.
Opel built the 30,000sqm plant and installed 370 assembly line machines in a year and a half, Sedran said. It will turn out three- and four-cylinder petrol engines – 1.6-litre ones at the start – but production of diesel engines will begin later, he added.
The plant was built using "flexible" technology, which allows production to shift to different engine models in a short time, based on market demand, he said. All of the engines the plant will make meet Euro 6 environmental standards, he added.
The plant brings the amount Opel has spent on investments in Hungary to €1.25 billion.
Opel's plant in Hungary has turned out 7 million engines, 5.5 million cylinder heads and 85,000 cars since it started production.