Following the steps of Suzuki, Audi and Mercedes, the western Hungarian plant of German automaker Opel Automobile GmbH will also begin rebooting production this week, the company announced in a statement.
During the production break imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Opel has restructured all its production processes to account for enhanced sanitary measures, the company said.
“Following the auditing of this system completed on April 7, we are now ready to resume production of three-cylinder PureTech turbo petrol engines,” CEO of Opel Szentgotthárd Grzegorz Buchal said. The plant began in January the mass production of the new PureTech engines for the entire Groupe PSA that Opel belongs to.
The Hungarian operations of the four major automotive multinationals present in Hungary came to a complete standstill on March 19 when the last one of them, Suzuki, also halted production for an indefinite period.
The four major car manufacturers present in Hungary account for just over 10 percent of the total GDP and 29 percent of total manufacturing output.
Opel began production in Hungary shortly after the 1990 regime change when the first Astra model rolled down the assembly line on March 13, 1992.
Besides the stoppages, the coronavirus pandemic had another negative effect on the Hungarian automotive industry: German carmaker BMW, which began last year the construction of a plant in Debrecen in eastern Hungary announced last week that it will delay several of its investments, including the Hungarian one.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said, however, that BMW remains committed to its investment in Hungary and recent news reports suggest there will be a one-year delay in the opening of the plant, originally scheduled for the end of this year.
Title image: Opel engine assembly line in Szentgotthérd, western Hungary. (source: origo.hu)