Automotive industry manufacturer Ford has opened a new service center in Budapest. At the opening ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed that the new facility means Ford’s largest administrative center in Europe is being established in Hungary.
In addition to pricing and production management functions serving all of Europe’s markets, the centre will also provide HR services for all European, Middle Eastern and African countries.
Mr. Szijjártó noted that the palette of Hungary’s automotive industry will now be complete thanks to the fact that, in addition to production and research & development, a large automotive brand has also brought it administrative and financial service centre to Hungary.
By the end of next year, Ford will be employing 700 people in Hungary, the majority of the young professionals with university degrees who speak several languages, the Minister highlighted. Cooperation between Hungary and Ford has reached an important milestone, which will be followed by others, Mr, Szijjártó stressed.
The automotive industry is setting the pace in the global competition, which is good news for Hungary because the automotive industry represents the backbone of the Hungarian economy, the Minister said, explaining that the production value of the Hungarian automotive industry increased by 8 percent year-on-year, following last year’s record figure.
He recalled that
last year was the first time in the history of the Hungarian national economy that the production value of the automotive industry had exceeded 8 trillion forints (EUR 24.63bn).
During the first six months of 2018 this figure already exceeded 4500 billion forints (13.85bn), meaning there is a good chance that the Hungarian automotive industry will once again achieve its highest ever recorded level of performance by the end of this year, he added.
The Minister also spoke about that the competitiveness of the Hungarian automotive industry in international comparison is indicted by the fact that the ratio of exports with relation to the automotive industry products and services produced in Hungary exceeds 90.9 percent, and the industry already employs over 167 thousand people.
Mr. Szijjártó also pointed out that this summer Mercedes began construction of its second plant in Kecskemét, Audi has begun production of electric motors in Győr, BMW has announced that it will be constructing its latest factory in Hungary, and an agreement has been concluded with Peugeot on the fact that they will be beginning the manufacturing of engines for two of the company’s new models in their plant in Szentgotthárd.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade highlighted the fact that the service centre sector is one of the most highly developed economic sectors in Hungary, with 100 service centres already operating in Hungary providing jobs to 46 thousand Hungarians, mainly young professionals with several university degrees who speak several languages.
“Service centres are providing a job opportunity to increasing numbers of young Hungarians, thanks to which is it no longer worth thinking about going to work abroad”, Mr. Szijjártó said. He also spoke about the fact that the confidence of American investors in Hungary is clearly indicated by the fact that American enterprises represent the second largest group of investors after the Germans, and the some 1700 American companies operating in Hungary provide jobs to over 100 thousand people.
The United States is Hungary largest export market outside the European Union,
and bilateral trade flow increased by 5 percent during the first six months of this year to reach almost 3 billion dollars, the Minister told the press.
Ford’s regional director Viktor Molnár told the press that together with the new service centre, Ford is now present in Hungary at three locations and that 99 percent of its employees are Hungarian.
During the past five years Ford has brought more and more of its European functions to Hungary. Amongst others, Hungarian centres are responsible for, or will be responsible for the company’s European financial, pricing, production management, product management, marketing and controlling tasks, as well as several global tasks that serve 41 different markets around the world, he explained, also mentioning that the establishment of the new service centre is part of the reorganisation process within the framework of which Ford’s full HR administration will be concentrated at just three centres worldwide, one of which will be the service centre in Budapest.
The number of people employed by Ford in Hungary has tripled over the past five years, and together with the new service centre now exceeds 500.
This number will increase to 600 by the end of the year and staff numbers will increase further next year, he said. Mr. Molnár also told reporters that Ford has a continuously expanding supplier network in Hungary incorporating 40 enterprises.
The suppliers to Ford’s European plants realised 580 billion forints (EUR 1.76bn) in turnover last year, and thanks to Ford’s orders generate 1.7 percent of Hungary’s GDP. Ford’s Hungarian suppliers employ a total of over 69 thousand people.