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GM ANNOUNCES START OF OPEL ASTRA PRODUCTION IN HUNGARY

 GM ANNOUNCES START OF OPEL ASTRA PRODUCTION IN HUNGARY
 SZENTGOTTHARD, Hungary, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was


released today by GM Europe:
 The first Opel Astra built in Hungary was driven off the assembly line by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall and GM Europe President Robert J. Eaton at the GM Hungary plant in Szentgotthard today (Friday, March 13). Eaton characterized the first Hungarian-built passenger car of modern times as a very significant milestone for General Motors Europe and its future presence in Hungary. Initially, car assembly on one shift is planned at approximately 15,000 Astra units annually. In July 1992, the production of petrol engines for Opel and Vauxhall cars will begin at the Szentgotthard plant, with an annual capacity of over 200,000 units. Total investment in the Szentgotthard project is over DM 350 million.
 "We are confident that the economic situation in Hungary will improve significantly over the course of the next few years," Eaton said. He also mentioned that the GM investment is a long-term one and might well set an example for other Western companies to follow. Eaton also set GM's objective for the Hungarian market, in conjunction with the first car built in the new plant: "The word 'first' not only highlights this important event today, but is also an indication of our goal to achieve first place -- the No. 1 ranking -- in sales here in Hungary, with the new Opel Astra."
 The company sold over 2,000 new cars on the Hungarian market last year and expects the number to be considerably higher this year. In the first two months of 1992, GM Europe sold a total of over 290,000 Opel and Vauxhall cars in Western Europe, 2.8 percent more than in the same period last year. Sales in February were 4 percent higher than in the same month last year, with an overall market share of 12.5 percent. GM Hungary already employs about 400 people at its Szentgotthard plant; this number will rise to about 650 when the plant runs at full capacity. In addition, there are already several local suppliers under contract to the Szentgotthard plant, and more than 30 dealers, providing employment for another 600 people.
 -0- 3/13/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Harned of General Motors, 313-556-3817/
 (GM) CO: General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SM -- DE007 -- 7697 03/13/92 09:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 13, 1992
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