Schaeffler Group is increasing its roller bearing capacity with a new manufacturing hall at its FAG Magyarorszag Ipari plant in Debrecen, Hungary. The laying of the foundation stone is planned for this year and the first products will be made in the second half of 2017.

Production volume will increase by about 50%, adding 500 employees during the next few years. Schaeffler will therefore become the largest employer in the region.

Schaeffler is spending around EUR80m (US$90.5m) on extending the plant. The Hungarian government is also supporting the project.

Peter Szabo, managing director of the plant, said: "The decision by the government shows that companies from the automotive sector are regarded as a key factor for the Hungarian economy and strong partners for investment."

The plant is one of two Schaeffler factories in Hungary. Around 1,400 employees manufacture bearings for the automotive industry. Bearings of up to 120mm diameter are produced for sales in Europe.