Audi may invest billion euros in Hungary: source

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German automaker Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, could announce an investment of one billion euros to expand its production plant in western Hungary, a source close to the deal said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is likely to announce on Thursday the 1.3-billion-dollar investment in the plant in Gyor in western Hungary, which already produces most of the engines used by Volkswagen, the source said.

An Audi spokesman in Germany said that there would be a press conference "to announce an investment decision," without giving any more details.

A spokeswoman for the Hungarian government, Anna Nagy, told AFP: "Prime Minister Viktor Orban will hold an international press conference in parliament on Thursday at 4:30 pm local time (1430GMT)."

The news comes a day after Hungary's economy ministry announced that another German automaker, Opel, part of US giant General Motors, was to invest 500 million euros to expand its own Hungarian plant in Szentgotthard.

Hungary will contribute some 7.5 billion forint (27 million euros, 35 million dollars) to that project, which will create some 1,000 jobs by 2012, as well as another 2,500 to 3,000 indirectly via suppliers, the ministry said.

The two investments would be the largest ever by Western automakers in eastern Europe.

© 2010 AFP

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