The planned 1 Billion Euro BMW factory is slated to be an electric car assembly plant, therefore it would be extremely surprising if they were to cancel their plans. Nevertheless, the concern was so great, that Gergely Gulyás, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, told journalists last week that according to BMW, the economic downturn will not affect the company’s investment project in Debrecen in any way.
Consumers are demanding a future with all-electric cars, a statement for which there is plenty of evidence. The public wants electric cars, which in part is causing the downturn in traditional non-electric automotive sales globally.
Car buyers want all-electric BMW’s because they want to be environmentally responsible and thanks to Tesla, the world knows its possible and are voting with their wallet or waiting for the prices to come down, moreover, Tesla has made the electric car sexy, consumers expect something equally sexy from BMW but they also want something that’s affordable.
As a result of European Government air quality goals and increasing concerns about global warming, the assumption is that all new cars will be electric within 20 years, and so consumers are reluctant to buy new traditional combustion engine cars in fear that they will devalue even more quickly than previously.
Consequently, despite heavy losses most big car brands are heavily investing in electric and hybrid solutions as an imperative, in order to compete with disruptive industry newcomers, including Tesla.
Hungary and Debrecen is the place to be for the electric automotive industry, BMW, Daimler, Continental and SK Battery are just the first of many forward-thinking automotive manufacturers to realize Hungary’s potential and leverage its central location within Europe. Debrecen, as a smart city with a focus on smart transportation innovation, is a particularly attractive destination for FDI.