Daimler starts serial production of fully-electric models in Hungary

Automotive

German vehicle maker Daimler launched production of fully-electric cars at its plant in Kecskemét on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said the government contributed HUF 15 billion in support to the nearly HUF 50 bln investment required to start serial production of the fully-electric EQB SUV model.

Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary managing director Christian Wolff called the launch "a historical moment", adding that production was started according to schedule, in spite of the challenges faced during the pandemic.

Jörg Burzer, Mercedes-Benz AG's board member in charge of production and supply chain management, said the company is continuing its "electric offensive" and acknowledged the support of the Hungarian government.

Szijjártó said the automotive industry has become a "pillar" of the Hungarian economy, accounting for one-quarter of industrial output and employing over 150,000 people. This year, output of the sector could climb over HUF 10 trillion, up from HUF 3.3 tln in 2010, he added.

Around 90% of the sector's output is exported, putting Hungary among the top 20 automotive industry exporters, he said. Hungary is the third-biggest exporter of petrol engines, the fifth-biggest of vehicle batteries, and the sixth-largest of diesel engines in the world, he added.

The new compact EQB models will be delivered from Hungary to all countries of the world, with the exception of China. The plant in Kecskemét also produces plug-in hybrids in addition to internal combustion engines.

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