The countries of Central Europe are ascending together
OREANDA-NEWS “Hungary isn’t an island of success, but part of Central Europe, the countries of which are ascending together”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the official inauguration of Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone’s 85 billion forint (EUR 274 million) capacity-expanding investment project in Tatabánya on Thursday.
“The economic growth of the four Visegrád Group (V4) countries is outstanding”, the Prime Minister added. “If we do not count the performance capabilities of our four countries, there is practically no economic growth within the European Union. Central Europe is Europe’s safest and most rapidly developing region”, he said.
“Next to the original plant, the Japanese have constructed an 85 billion forint new plant, which is twice as large, and which will result in the creation of over 500 new jobs”, Mr. Orbán told reporters. “The Government contributed almost 2.4 billion forints (EUR 7.7 million) in funding towards the investment”, the Prime Minister said.
“Although Japan is 8000 kilometres from Hungary, it is the second largest investor in the country from outside the EU, and the 151 Japanese companies currently operating in Hungary provide jobs for 30,000 people”, the Prime Minister explained.
Mr. Orbán reminded those present that in 2013 there were still major disputes regarding Hungary’s economic development model, and despite several unresolved issues Bridgestone gave the Government its vote of confidence, which “was an encouragement for Hungary”, he said.
“Over a period of six to seven years we have successfully reached a stage where anyone who wants to work can find employment; in September, the rate of unemployment in Tatabánya was 2.7 percent, which according to the logic of economics means full employment”, the Prime Minister pointed out.
Vice President & General Manager of Bridgestone Tatabanya Melinda Topolcsik told reporters that the newly inaugurated plant will mean the company will be able to double its current production capacity of 1.8 million tyres-a-year to 3.6 million, and to redouble that again by 2020.
During the course of the investment project a new, 97,200 square metre production hall was constructed behind the company’s existing, 47,200 square metre plant, as a result of which the facility’s production area has more than doubled. The number of people employed at the plant is increasing from 361 to 1100, making the company one of the most significant employers in Komárom-Esztergom County. This will be the first Bridgestone plant in Europe and outside Japan to apply the company’s ground-breaking production technology based on artificial intelligence, which measures and analyses the quality of tyres at 480 points along the manufacturing process. Also unique is the plant’s fully automated warehouse for the transport and storage of tyres that are awaiting vulcanisation, and which has a maximum capacity of 70,000 tyres, as well as its final quality assessment and packaging systems.
Bridgestone Tatabánya Limited began production of premium quality tyres for cars and SUVs in 2008. In 2013, the company signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Hungarian Government, after which it decided on realising the 274 million euro expansion of its existing plant in Tatabánya.
Ms. Topolcsik pointed out that Bridgestone Tatabánya’s supplier network is made up of 750, predominantly Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises from which the company purchased goods and services at a total value of 4.6 billion forints (EUR 14.8 million) last year. In 2016, the company realised 36 billion forints (EUR 116 million) in turnover.
Senior Vice President of Bridgestone Manufacturing Adolfo Llorens told reporters that according to sales figures for 2016, the Bridgestone Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres and rubber products. The concern and its subsidiaries operate 180 factories in 25 countries and employ over 144,000 people, while the company’s products are marketed in over 150 countries.
Brussels-based Bridgestone Europe (BSEU) is a subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation, which has its headquarters in Tokyo. The company employs more than 18,200 people in over 60 countries, in addition to operating 14 tyre and rubber products factories, a major research & development centre and a testing centre