The history of Hungarian automotive industry

The chassis of the first petrol engined motor vehicle was produced in the factory of a MAGE member company in May, 1905 based on János Csonka’s plans.

Rába Automotive Holding Plc. is the successor of the former Magyar Wagon és Gépgyár (Hungarian Wagon and Machine Factory) in Győr. The history of the company goes back to 120 years. The Rába type vehicle manufacturing is described also in a handbook found in the Hungarian Technical and Transport Museum.

The modern automotive industry has become a global sector due to its complexity and huge capital requirement of the production.

Hungary became a target country of automotive investments after 1989.


Opel 1991/1992

Opel 1991/1992
In March the first Opel Astra rolled off the assembly line, the first modern age automobile manufactured by Hungarians, manoeuvred off the assembly line by József Antall, prime minister on 13th March. Today the vehicle is exhibited in the Budapest Transport Museum. In June the 1.6 litre, 8 valve engine production started. In October Árpád Göncz, the president of Hungary officially inaugurated the Hungarian factory of GM.


Suzuki 1991/1993

On 7th May, 1993 the Esztergom factory of the Hungarian Suzuki Plc. was inaugurated in the presence of József Antall, prime minister and Suzuki Osamu, the Japanese factory owner. The ten thousandth Suzuki was given to Árpád Göncz, president of Hungary on 15th October, 1993.
The company concluded a strategic co-operational agreement with the Hungarian government in 2012 on the 20th anniversary of the start of the serial production.


AUDI 1993

A contract was signed about the purchase of the industrial premises and the framework conditions of the investment in 1993. One of the world’s biggest motor factories has been operating in Hungary since the foundation of AUDI Hungaria, one of the biggest foreign investment groups. The output of the factory is 9% of the total Hungarian export, and with this performance it is the second biggest exporter of Hungary.


Mercedes 2008/2012

Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Ltd. is the first central-European factory of the group. The investment was not revealed until the last moment, finally it was announced in the middle of June, 2008. Construction started south of Kecskemét, between M5 and highway 5 in 2009. Mercedes automobiles have been manufactured in Hungary since 29th March.

Since 2011 car manufacturing has become the main drive of the Hungarian industrial production.

The vehicle industry of Hungary

The vehicle industry provides working possibilities for more than 175 000 people in more than 900 companies in Hungary. In addition to a 20 % contribution to the national export this branch of the processing industry provides working possibilities for several small and medium enterprises, suppliers. The major part of the Hungarian automotive industry is concentrated in Győr-Esztergom, Szentgotthárd-Szombathely, Kecskemét and Miskolc regions. 51 from the 100 biggest suppliers of the vehicle industry are present in Hungary. Whereas in 2010 the production value of the sector was 4000 billion, this amount increased to more than 8000 billion in 2018.

Number of enterprises close to
Number of employed people:
Share of national export: 20%

The vehicle industrial regions are developing faster in the Visegrád countries.

Strategic agreements


The government has concluded a strategic agreement with 81 companies so far. 37 of these companies are in connection with automotive industry, from among 18 are MAGE members.

In the last decade research and development (R&D) has been 1% compared to GDP in Hungary. It is a strategic goal to increase this value to 1.8% by 2020.

Through the EU’s support program related to research and innovation 2.1 billion Euros can be used up for R&D activities between 2014-2020.


The biggest automotive investors in R&D are:


The automotive suppliers have defined 3 success factors related to the competitiveness of the Hungarian automotive industry, namely: increasing added value, R&D tasks and attracting innovation into Hungary.