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Automotive company expanding Hungarian operation

One of the world’s largest automotive, electronics and acoustics equipment maker, Harman International is expanding its Hungarian operation in Székesfehérvár. The company invests HUF 3.7 billion in building a new plant and creating 260 jobs.

Harman International’s subsidiary, Harman/Becker Automotive Systems Kft has been operating in Székesfehérvár since 1995 and has been continuously expanding its product range. It is currently manufacturing automotive sound systems, radios and navigation panel parts employing a workforce of 466. With the latest investment subsidized by the government, the company built a new plant of 12,000 square meters and its machine acquisition and production expansion projects will also be ready by June 2011. The current production will be carried on by larger volumes and there will also be new products made like built-in multimedia and acoustic equipments for cars.

Harman International employs 10,000 people worldwide in its plant throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia manufacturing radios, speakers and electronic parts for luxury cars. Their contractors include BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo and Ford.

David Karch, vice president of Harman International highlighted that the Székesfehérvár plant as an ever increasing role in the global game of the company, due to the qualified workforce, the advanced infrastructure and the government support.

„This investment fully proves that although the economic circumstances do not favor expansion Europe-wide, Hungary can even profit from that aspect of the crisis. There is a tendency among international companies to bring their production to Middle and Eastern Europe. The government aims to establish a central role for Hungary in the automotive industry of the region,“ said István Varga, minister of national development and economy.

ITDH, the background institution of the ministry is currently in talks about 15 investment of the automotive industry. If all of the companies choose Hungary, they could create 6,500 new jobs.