ESZTERGOM, Hungary -- Suzuki Motor Corp. said on Thursday that it planned to boost annual output at its Hungarian car plant to 200,000 units by 2005 from this year's planned 88,000.
The announcement was made at Suzuki's plant in Esztergom, 60 kms north of Budapest, where Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy and Suzuki Chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki jointly launched the production of Suzuki's new model Ignis.
"To achieve this target we plan to invest a total of an additional 60 billion forints ($264.7 million) in our plant this year and in 2004," Suzuki told a news conference.
Ignis is a cross between a passenger car and a sports utility vehicle.
From the autumn of next year, Suzuki plans to start producing its Concept S model in Hungary, which was presented last year in Paris.
Suzuki, one of the largest foreign investors in Hungary, with 2002 net revenues of almost 150 billion forints, said it planned to sell a total of 55,000 Ignis models this year in Hungary and in Western Europe.
Suzuki employs more than 1,600 in Hungary, which it plans to increase by 250 in the next two years.
Suzuki and Fiat Chief Executive Officer Giancarlo Boschetti will sign an agreement in Budapest on the joint production of a sports model, a public relations officer told Reuters without disclosing further details.
Suzuki, which launched production in Hungary 10 years ago, has a leading share in Hungary's car market and is one of the country's biggest exporters, with export sales exceeding 85 billion forints last year.