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German Defense Giant Rheinmetall Brings New Plant to Szeged

Hungary Today 2024.03.26.

After a long period of planning, it is now official that a new “hybrid” factory is being built in southern Hungary. Rheinmetall is bringing its fourth plant to the country, and the foundation stone will be laid today, Világgazdaság reports.

On Monday, Oliver Hoffmann, head of communications at Rheinmetall AG, announced that the foundation stone of the new factory in Hungary will be laid on March 26. The location of the new Rheinmetall factory is no secret either; the new plant of the defense giant will be built in Szeged.

Rheinmetall is much more than just a defense company: it is an international defense and automotive company and a technology group that develops and sells components, systems, and services both to  the defense and civil sectors. The German company will be setting up its fourth plant in Hungary among the following:

  • in Zalaegerszeg (western Hungary), it operates the most modern infantry fighting vehicle production and test facility in Europe.
  • in Várpalota (western Hungary), one of Europe’s largest ammunition and explosives production plants is under construction.
  • in Budapest, construction has begun on a digitization and software development center.

Exactly what activities will be carried out at the Szeged plant has not yet been disclosed. What is known for now is that it could be a novel concept, as it was stated on Monday:

Hybrid production is another milestone in Rheinmetall’s industrialization strategy.

The plant will produce components to serve the electric car industry, renewable energy, and the security systems market, making it different from the previous investments in the pure military industry.”

Rheinmetall plant in Zalaegerszeg. Photo: X/SPARTANAT

The development is also welcome as there has been no new news about the development in Szeged in recent months. However, it has been discussed at various levels of government and investors. Perhaps the most prominent of these is linked to Gábor Bányai, the government commissioner for the Southern Great Plain Economic Development Zone, and Paul Walf, head of the Central European coordination department of Rheinmetall AG, both of whom had been talking about Rheinmetall’s move to Szeged last summer.

The statements at the time suggested that the company would set up a hydrogen and e-mobility components plant as part of its civil business. But there was also talk of Rheinmetall bringing not just an assembly plant to the city of 160,000, but also massive research and development. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen.

The importance of the Rheinmetall plant in Szeged is illustrated by the fact that not only will the city and the government both be represented at a high level at today’s foundation stone laying ceremony, but Rheinmetall is also planning to send a high-level delegation to the seat of the Csongrád-Csanád County.

Rheinmetall to Produce Air Defense System for the Hungarian Lynx
Rheinmetall to Produce Air Defense System for the Hungarian Lynx

For the German company, the development contract is worth nearly EUR 30 million.Continue reading

Via Világgazdaság, Featured image: X/Rheinmetall

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