With Tesla’s star seemingly still on the rise, various governments around the world have been working in recent times to attract large manufacturing investments from the firm — with the potential to host new “gigafactories,” amongst other things, being the motivation.
The government of Hungary is one of the governments in question — with the country’s foreign minister having recently met with execs at Tesla’s facilities in California, reportedly. The aim of the Thursday talks being to put Hungary “on the map” as regarding future developments — with the topic of generous tax breaks, and other possible incentives as well, being the subject.
According to the Hungarian news agency MTI these talks went well — with executives at Tesla responding “very positively” to the message of tax breaks being on the table for various research and development, and investment, activities, the foreign minister said.
“Our purpose with today’s visit was to place Hungary on the map…as a country, which puts great emphasis on the car sector,” stated Hungarian foreign minister Szijjarto, following the talks with business development and legal directors at Tesla.
It’s notable here that Hungary has the lowest corporate tax rate in the European Union, at just 9%.
Reuters provides more: “The production and export of cars by foreign automakers is a key driver of economic growth in Hungary, where wages for skilled workers are well below Western European levels. The car sector employs over 100,000 people and accounts for about a third of industrial output in Hungary, an eastern member of the European Union. Neighbouring Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also major car making hubs in the region.
“The minister said Hungary aimed to install over 3,000 electric charging points by 2019. He added that Tesla would build 2 supercharging stations in Hungary by the end of next year, one in the western town of Gyor, an industrial hub home to German premium car maker Audi, and another in Nagykanizsa in the southwest.”
That Audi facility is responsible for a fair portion of economic activity in Hungary, hence the interest in attracting investment from a fast growing company like Tesla: the potential is there to greatly boost overall economic activity with such an outcome.
A number of other major auto manufacturers currently operate facilities in the country, including Daimler, Suzuki, and Opel (PSA Group).
Also relevant here is that one of the largest electric vehicle battery manufacturers in the world, SK Innovation of South Korea, is now developing a 840.2 billion won ($771.86 million) battery manufacturing facility in the country — with the goal being to stay on top of demand in the European market for electric vehicle batteries.
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