Audi Further Expands Operations in Hungary
GYOR, Hungary - An ambitious project representing an investment of 40 million euros has now officially gone into operation: the Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, today officially opened the AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. toolmaking shop in Györ. The toolmaking shop is a new section of Audi Hungaria and the first automotive toolmaking shop in Hungary.
"The decision to locate toolmaking operations in Györ substantially contributes towards enhancing the competitiveness of the Audi Group," declared Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn at the opening ceremony.
Following a Group-wide search for a suitable location in Central and Eastern Europe, Audi Hungaria was chosen as the site of the new toolmaking shop. A production hall covering an area of 18,000 m2 was constructed as part of the investment of some 40 million euros. Equipment for the press shop and body shop is manufactured there. Highlights from a production technology viewpoint are the large presses with a maximum closing force of 25,000 kN (kiloNewton) and a maximum tool weight of 50 tonnes.
"The fact that Audi Hungaria has been able to realise the toolmaking shop project at Györ underlines the Group's faith in this company and in the specialist expertise of the Hungarian workforce," said Thomas Faustmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft.
The tasks of the toolmaking shop at Györ will in future encompass not merely the manufacture of tools and plant, but also a broader spectrum of tasks involving the production of body components and welded assemblies for small-series products. The Györ toolmaking shop has already demonstrated its success in this domain with the production start of the new Audi RS 4, one of the top models of the Audi Group.
This project permitted a high degree of capacity utilisation of the existing capital-intensive plant capacity from a very early stage on. At present there are 170 employees working on a three-shift basis at the Györ toolmaking shop. This will rise to 320 employees once the project has been completed.
Within AUDI AG, the toolmaking shop operates as an equipment supplier, contributing significantly towards the economic and quality objectives of the company. It is also capable of holding its own on the world market. Since 1993, toolmaking activities have consequently taken the form of a separate division, operating as an independent company under the umbrella of Audi Production. It has a total of some 1,170 employees at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants, with operations at each location spanning the three segments Plant and Equipment Construction, Toolmaking and Machine Technology. Forming tools, body manufacturing plant, jigs and fixtures, pre-series pressings and measuring equipment are manufactured for the Audi and VW Groups as well as on behalf of other car companies, on an area covering a total of 42,000 sq meters. Within the industry, the Audi Toolmaking Division is regarded as the worldwide pioneer of various technologies, including aluminium forming.
The Audi Toolmaking Division emerged as the winner of the competition "Excellence in Production" from a field of 220 German toolmakers and mould makers, and was awarded the title "Toolmaker of the Year 2004". The training of the Hungarian workers and the start-up of the third toolmaking shop within the Audi brand group are being supported by the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm locations. Hubert Waltl, Head of Audi Toolmaking, remarked "Audi toolmaking at Györ will contribute substantially towards expanding and rounding off our business areas and will thus indirectly also help to safeguard our German locations."
AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., a fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG and based in Györ, has been one of the principal engine suppliers for the Audi and Volkswagen Groups for twelve years. In addition, the Audi TT Coupé and TT Roadster sports cars are assembled there. Audi Hungaria has been Hungary's biggest exporter and one of the country's highest-revenue companies for years.