Tier one parts manufacturer Continental is to construct a plant in Hungary to expand its presence in the country and its overall production of sensors, actuators and transmission control units.

The ground-breaking ceremony at a greenfield site in Debrecen is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, with the German company planning to invest a total of €100m ($122m) and create 450 new jobs in setting up the plant, its seventh in Hungary.

Operations are earmarked to start from the third quarter of 2020, when products will be delivered by road to customers within the EU. The company is not disclosing the plant’s production capacity.

Executive board member Josa Avila, who heads the powertrain division, said the decision to build the new factory shows that Continental is expanding its European presence to better satisfy customers’ growing demand for automotive electronics.

The new plant will add to the volume of automotive electronic products the company manufactures; no existing production will be relocated to Debrecen, a spokeswoman told Automotive Logistics.

Hans-Jürgen Braun, in charge of Continental’s 30 central electronics plants worldwide, described the development as “an important pillar in order to diversify our manufacturing plants for state-of-the-art automotive electronics internationally".

Róbert Keszte, managing director at Continental Automotive, added that Debrecen, Hungary’s second largest city, is the ideal location for the expansion because it is a regional centre with outstanding infrastructure and a highly qualified workforce.

Continental currently has six production plants in Hungary, as well as a tyre sales centre in Budaörs and logistic base at Mosonmagyaróvár.

The factories include a unit in Budapest producing electronic control units, powertrain, mechatronic and infotainment systems, as well as screens and micro-electric circuit modules.

At the Veszprém development centre, the company develops and tests electronically controlled brake systems on the associated test track, as well as producing security sensors. Nyíregyháza Continental makes rubber products for cars, commercial vehicles and cooler-heater hoses.

Looking ahead, the company plans to open a competence centre for deep-machine learning at Budapest in May. It will be part of the advanced driver assistance systems business unit.