Plans to expand the newly built flexible Opel engine plant in Hungary have been announced by Opel vice president government relations Joachim Koschnicke and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Opel will invest an additional EUR130m (US$174.4m) in its new facility, where series production of the new-generation 1.6-litre, four-cylinder SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) Ecotec Turbo engines started last week.

"Opel is in the midst of a product offensive: 23 new models and 13 new engines will be launched by 2016 and many of these engines will be built in Hungary", said Joachim Koschnicke.

With this additional investment, the plant will be enlarged by 1,600 square metres, over 80 new machines will be installed and the new facility's annual production will be increased by 100,000 engines. Including this expansion, total Opel investment in Hungary will be approximately EUR1.4bn and the new engine plant's annual production capacity will increase to 600,000 engines.

Koschnicke said: "Opel continues to be a strategic player in the Hungarian economy. We were the first automotive company to invest in this country back in 1991 and our latest investments underline our partnership and commitments here. We are proud of our history and of our success: Opel is the number one brand on the Hungarian car market and the strength of the brand is also supported by our strong manufacturing presence."

The manufacturing portfolio in the new Opel engine plant will consist of a family of small gasoline engines, a family of medium-sized gasoline engines and a family of medium-sized diesel engines. The new engine families will meet future Euro 6 emission standards, add direct injection to gasoline powertrains, secure a low power/weight ratio, provide smooth running and substantially reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Series production of the 1.6 litre gasoline engines has already started, and the new 1.6 litre diesel units which already meet future Euro 6 emission standards will follow by the end of this month.