Automotive sector

bne IntelliNews – Hungarian automotive sector shows first growth after six months in January

After six consecutive months of decline, output in Hungary’s automotive industry, the largest segment of the industrial sector, rose 6.8% year-on-year in January, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a reading detailed on March 11.

The automotive segment, which accounts for about a fifth of manufacturing, has been hit by production stoppages and scale reductions due to global shortages of semiconductors, but the outlook is still clouded by the effects of war .

German automaker Mercedes-Benz is reducing the number of shifts at its Kecskemet plant from three to two shifts from March 16 until the end of the month as deliveries from Ukrainian suppliers ceased.

The company is cooperating with its suppliers and closely monitoring the situation while working on solutions to secure its supply chains, the unit said. Last year, the Hungarian plant produced more than 160,000 vehicles.

Magyar Suzuki said it has not encountered any supplier problems, but has already halted deliveries to Russia and Ukraine from March.

The company, which produced 112,475 cars last year, 87% of which were sold in foreign markets, plans to continue two-shift production at its Esztergom plant.

The detailed data shows that production in the computer, electronic and optical equipment segment – ​​accounting for 11% of manufacturing – edged down 0.2% year-on-year in January. Output from the food, beverage and tobacco segment – ​​which accounted for 12% of manufacturing output – increased by 13.7%.

Overall industrial production rose 8.9%, the fastest rate since the summer, KSH confirmed. Adjusted for the number of working days, production increased by 7.1%. In a month-on-month comparison, production increased by 1.9%.

Industrial sector sales rose 9% in January, with domestic sales up 13.1% and export sales up 6.5%.

Inventory of orders in manufacturing segments tracked by KSH rose 24.8% at the end of January from 12 months earlier. The volume of new orders rose 1.6%, with new domestic orders up 19.1%, but new export orders fell 1%.

Investments initiated during the crisis, backed by HUF 2 trillion (5.3 billion euros) in grants and credits, are now bearing fruit, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology said. Industrial production rose 9.6% last year, rebounding from a 6.1% decline. Analysts said it was too early to give projections for 2022 due to uncertainties.

Soaring energy costs and supply problems were compounded by the impact of war on the one hand, and new capacity in the electronics and automotive industries on the other. Overall, Hungary’s sales to Russia and Ukraine together account for 4-5% of total exports.