Japanese battery manufacturing specialist GS Yuasa is constructing its first factory in Europe in Miskolc’s southern industrial park; the foundation stone of the new facility, which will be completed by 2019, was laid on Wednesday.
At the ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told reporters: “The Government is assisting the 8.8 billion forint (EUR 28 million) project with non-returnable funding of 465 million forints; the new plant will employ over fifty people”.
“The 170 Japanese companies operating in Hungary employ some 25 thousand people, and Japan is the third largest investor in Hungary from outside Europe”, he added.
The Minister spoke about the fact that this latest investment is also proof that the world’s automotive industry is undergoing a revolutionary transformation, in view of the fact that electromobility, self-driven cars and environmentally friendly technologies are no longer the future, but the present. “The automotive industry revolution is happening before our very eyes; many important and significant investments have arrived in Hungary and will continue to do so”, he said.
“Nobody disputes the fact that during the traditional era of the automotive industry Hungary grew to become one of the bastions of European car manufacturing; last year the performance of the automotive industry broke all previous national economic records exceeding 8 trillion forints (EUR 25.6 bn), with 175 thousand people employed within the sector, the competitiveness of which is indicated by the fact that 92 percent of automotive industry products are exported”, he explained.
Mr. Szijjártó told the press that the Czech Republic and Germany had also been in competition for the Japanese company’s investment.
“The batteries produced here, which apply innovative technologies, will ensure that we are also a determining part of the new automotive industry era; most of the products manufactured in Miskolc will be sold abroad to Europe’s largest and strongest car manufacturers”, he stated.
President and CEO of GS Yuasa Osama Murao explained that in the first phase a 60 thousand square metre (650 thousand square foot) production hall will be constructed, which can later be expanded into a 140 thousand square metre facility. The plant in Miskolc will produce Lithium batteries of the kind also used in electric and hybrid cars. Miskolc will be the only location outside Japan where such batteries are manufactured, he added.
With relation to Miskolc, the location chosen by the company for the plant, the company director said the city has a well-organised infrastructure, the local professionals are well-trained, and the city also supported the development project. The climate change that has been occurring in recent years has necessitated the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and this has also posed new challenges for the automotive industry, he explained.
Japanese Ambassador to Hungary H.E. Kuni Sato, the region’s Member of Parliament Katalin Csöbör and Mayor of Miskolc Ákos Kriza all praised the significance of the investment and spoke about the fact that this too indicates that Miskolc is the region’s most rapidly developing centre of industry.
GS Yuasa Corporation, which manufactures various batteries, chargers and other electric equipment employs some 15 thousand people in 17 countries and realised 3 billion dollars in turnover during the business year ending in March 2017.
The Kyoto-based company’s Hungarian subsidiary, GS Yuasa Hungary Limited, was registered on 30 October 2017.
featured image: kormany.hu