The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is extremely severe even in the case of global giants such as Audi, and it is evident that government assistance is necessary in order to restart the economy, including the restarting of the Audi factory which is otherwise well-equipped to stand on its own two feet. In the absence of this, the economy will not restart, the Prime Minister pointed out after he visited the plant in the company of Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics on the occasion of the fact that the plant has changed over to work in three shifts again.
The Prime Minister said the government will do everything it can so that all workers and engineers continue to find their employment at the Audi factory worthwhile, and the cabinet is ready to even provide financial assistance with the operation of the factory at full capacity.
He indicated at the same time that owners, executives and workers will have to conclude a good agreement.
“Jobs can be protected with agreements,” he stressed.
Mr Orbán also said it might take as long as two years to reach the point where it will be possible to announce overarching plans for the future which exceed the pre-pandemic starting point in production facilities.
The Prime Minister referred to the Győr Audi factory as the flagship and pride of Hungarian industry which is also important from the viewpoint of the national economy as so far investments worth more than EUR 11 billion have been made in the factory which is now environmentally neutral.
However, at this point, we must even fight for the Audi factory, Mr Orbán stressed, adding at the same time that he believes that “not only will we survive this crisis, we will come out of it stronger,” and the continuation of “the success story called ‘Audi’” will be a part of this.
Alfons Dintner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi Hungaria Zrt. said Audi Hungaria is becoming increasingly a competence centre whose slogan is ‘Audi Hungaria, from Győr to the world’.
He said on the occasion of the resumption of the third shift, they introduced to the Prime Minister and accompanying guests the measures they had adopted against the coronavirus, including the alteration of workplaces which had enabled them to restart production on the first engine production line in mid-April. He highlighted that the safety of staff members was paramount, and as a result of the alterations, they were able to maintain safe conditions for production.
He also mentioned at the same time that, for the time being, they are far from the normal, pre-coronavirus pandemic situation; car purchases are as yet “moderate” and customer demand is limited.
At the factory visit, which was also attended by Mayor of Győr Csaba András Dézsi, Mr Dintner showed the Prime Minister the manufacturing process of the Audi models made in Győr.
The press release distributed at the event highlights that Audi Hungaria restarted its production lines in mid-April, first in a single shift, and the company has increased its production capacity gradually. At the end of 2019, Audi Hungaria provided jobs for 12,807 persons.