Audi has said it is committed to staying in Hungary and hopes to grow further once Hungary joins the European Union, planned for 2004.

The comments by the head of Audi Hungaria, the German carmaker’s local unit, were reported by Reuters .

As Reuters noted, the comments come amid fierce lobbying by several central European states to win a major new assembly plant – with 300,000 unit annual capacity – to be built by PSA .

“Audi has set up its production line in Gyor for the long run and hopes…conditions will be favourable for further growth after Hungary’s EU accession,” news agency MTI quoted Audi’s Juergen Lunemann as saying, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that he also said Audi made 970,000 engines in the first nine months of this year and would increase output to 1.3 million over the year as a whole.

The report also said that Audi Hungaria will also assemble 44,500 cars this year, a planned scaling back from over 50,000 last year.