On Thursday, March 29th, Mercedes Benz inaugurated the new manufacturing plant in Hungary, its first in Eastern Europe.
The plant cost 800 million to be built, is situated in the central Hungarian city of Kecskemet, 62 miles southeast of Budapest, and will have 3,000 employees and 10,000 jobs for suppliers.
“This plant is an important milestone of our growth strategy,” Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler AG said. “Kecskemet is a model plant, an ideal factory in flexibility, efficiency and quality. We are setting new standards.”
The factory, which was built for the company’s B-Class cars, is expected to produce 120,000 annually, being one of the largest-ever direct investments in Hungary and a welcome bright spot in the otherwise difficult economic situation, with stagnant consumer demand, rising inflation and lethargic job creation.
“We selected this site from a number of alternatives in Hungary and other countries,” Zetsche said of the 1,090-acre plot, formerly farmland. “We are as happy with the selection today as we were when we made it.”
Although Europe is facing a difficult time and sales fell 9% on the year during the first two months, Zetsche claims that 2011 for Mercedes was the most successful year in the history of the company and that it aims for another record in 2012.