Budapest, September 29 (MTI) – The government wants to reduce the economy’s exposure to fluctuations in the performance of the car industry and aims to boost other sectors, including pharmaceuticals and the production of medical instruments and machine industry parts, the economy minister, Mihaly Varga, told public Kossuth radio on Tuesday.
He noted that the car industry accounts for 13 percent of Hungary’s exports and 22 percent of industrial production.
Commenting on the emissions scandal surrounding the Volkswagen group, he said that around 2-2.5 million of the 11 million diesel engines affected by the scandal were manufactured at Audi’s plant in Gyor, in western Hungary. He said that even if the scandal results in a drop in production, it will affect the Gyor plants to a lesser extent than other plants of concern because the Gyor plant is one of the most modern units of the VW group.
It is as yet uncertain to what extent car sales will drop as a result of the scandal, he said. Diesel engines will continue to be used around the world because they are more efficient than petrol engines, he added.
The government will have to monitor this issue because of the car industry’s workforce impact and its influence on the economy, he said.
Varga told journalists on Monday that a drop in European car sales could have a 0.3-0.6 percent impact on the performance of the Hungarian economy.