The Hungarian subsidiary of Audi AG told today that it plans in early 2001 to start assembling A3, the German automaker’s lower-medium car, targeting annual output of 15,000 units. A spokesperson for Audi Hungarian Motor Kft (AHM) said. “We expect to make approximately 15,000 units in 2001… But it is too early to speak about any plans for subsequent years.”

AHM, opened in 1994 as an engine factory, expanded into car production in late 1998 with assembly of TT sports cars. The Hungarian plant, Audi’s sole source for the upmarket vehicles, is the only mass-producer of sports cars in Eastern Europe.

The company, capable of assembling 55,000 cars a year in three shifts, rolled out 52,000 TT Coupés and Roadsters in 1999. Similar output is forecast for this year. In 2001, AHM plans to make 40,000 TTs and 15,000 A3s.

“We will not expand annual capacity for A3, but we will add 100 workers,” the official said, noting AHM already employs 1,400 to build TT.

AHM, the biggest foreign investor in Hungary’s auto industry, has poured DM1.9bn into its operations in Gyor, 120km west of Budapest. The sum is to exceed DM2.0bn before 2001.

The company built over 1.0m engines in 1999. A similar volume is planned for 2000.

Once output of A3 starts, AHM’s combined workforce for cars and engines will total 4,700.

Audi is shifting some output of A3 to Hungary to cope with capacity limitations at its main plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Contact Ryan James Tutak, associate editor of for Eastern Europe:
F +36-1 / 317-7257
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