Valeo is adding yet more capacity to its Hungarian operation by expanding its Veszprém facility

Valeo is adding yet more capacity to its Hungarian operation by expanding its Veszprém facility

Valeo Auto-Electric Magyarország is expanding its manufacturing and R&D complex in Veszprém, Hungary, with a EUR60m (US$71m) greenfield project creating 220 new jobs.

The project, in cooperation with the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), will create a high level of automated production and is further proof of the magnetising effect the country has for numerous suppliers.

Valeo has been manufacturing sensors, electronic control units and switches at its Veszprém plant since 1998, with sales last year exceeding HUF147bn. The electronic and plastic parts used by Valeo Auto-Electric Magyarország come from within the country, mostly from Székesfehérvár, Tatabánya and Tiszaújváros.

Partners include Citroën, Peugeot, Renault and Seat, while the manufacturing complex has an R&D laboratory with around 500 employees.

As part the development, in addition to the partial modification of the existing building, the development laboratory will be expanded by an additional 550 square metres and a new 4,000-square metre warehouse hall will also be constructed.

Part of the aim of the expansion is to set up a high level of automated (Industry 4.0) production.

Specifically, 30 robots and 12 cobots will be procured as part of the development, which, in addition to providing for a capacity increase and efficiency, will allow for the redeployment of human resources to labour-intensive areas.

Data from 2016 shows just how important vehicle manufacturing is to the Hungarian economy, with the country exporting 85%-90% of its automotive production while the sector contributes a hefty 15% to domestic GDP.

Around 150,000 people work in the Hungarian automotive sector in 600 companies with total exports totalling EUR19.6bn (US$23bn), while 15 of the world's top 20 suppliers have factories in Hungary.

"We would like to search for more companies in our industry," Association of Hungarian Component Manufacturers (MAJOSZ) president, Jozsef Nyiro told just-auto at the recent CEE European Automotive Forum organised by Adam Smith Conferences in Prague. Nyrio. "We have lots of skills and infrastructure, [as well as] good universities.

"We have very good contact with [the] Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency."