BUDAPEST -- Suzuki has been fined by the government of the Hungarian town of Esztergom for starting to build a new manufacturing hall without permission, daily paper Nepszabadsag reported on Friday.
Nepszabadsag said the fine was 786 million forints ($3.86 million), adding that Suzuki -- one of the top foreign investors and exporters in Hungary -- said it might relocate production elsewhere if it has to pay the fine.
Suzuki's press chief Tamas Tihanyi said he could not confirm or deny this information, or the fine itself.
He only said over the phone that Suzuki was in talks with the local government over a "problematic issue," and would comment later.
Suzuki is currently expanding its production plant in Esztergom, north of Budapest.
Suzuki said earlier it planned to boost output at the Esztergom facility to 200,000 units by 2005.
In the first half of this year Suzuki sold 18,280 new cars in Hungary, about 17 percent less than in the same period of last year, but was still a market leader with a 17.5 percent share of domestic sales.
Total new car sales in Hungary were up 2.7 percent year on year in the first six months, at 101,644 units.