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German car maker Mercedes-Benz will invest 50 billion forints (EUR 141m) at its plant in Kecskemét, in central Hungary, to add fully electric vehicles to the production palette, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Monday.

The government is supporting the investment, which will “cement the future of more than 4,400 jobs”, with a 15 billion forint (EUR 42.2m) grant, Szijjártó told an online press conference at the plant.

The minister called the investment “a milestone” for the Kecskemét plant, as well as for the Hungarian economy and car industry.

“One of the world’s largest car makers with cutting-edge technologies has decided to bring such a significant high-tech investment to Hungary at a time when the global car industry is not exatly about new investments,” Szijjártó said. This new project has further strengthened Hungarian-German economic cooperation, he added.

Christian Wolff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary, said that the production of Mercedes’s EQB brand fully electric vehicles could start in Kecskemét from Q4 in 2021. The model will have its world premiere next spring, he added.

A new pressing plant, announced in March 2020, will start operation in 2022.

The plant in Kecskémet turned out about 190,000 compact vehicles last year.

In the featured photo: Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary CEO Christian Wolff. Photo by Sándor Ujvári/MTI