Earlier this week Világgazdaság had a big feature about the growing size and importance of the automotive industry for the Hungarian economy.
According to the paper, the industry – which involves both assembly of vehicles and a large number of component and parts manufacturers – has emerged stronger than ever from the financial crisis, and is on track to contribute 10% of overall GDP, and 25% of industrial exports. And amid layoffs in most industrial sectors, the number of people employed by the various automotive businesses actually rose last year by around 3.5%, to roughly 100,000.
Needless to say, the vast majority of the cars and components produced in Hungary are exported, despite a recent uptick in registrations of new passenger vehicles in the country.
While none of that is particularly surprising, what is a bit startling is news that there may be a mini-boom going on in the export of used cars.
A study of the market by Weltauto, the unit of Porsche Hungaria specializing in pre-owned cars, found that foreign used car dealers are increasingly looking to Hungary for inventory, because the cars here are so cheap, no doubt because of the same lack of consumer demand that has kept new car sales stalled. Interestingly, many of the cars head to Germany. [hvg.hu]