September 19, 2013

Company profile: GE Hungary

With its 12 sites and 12,500 employees in Hungary, it's the largest American employer and investor in the country. This is the short story of GE Hungary.


The Tungsram Co. was established in 1896 in Budapest. The company produced lamp with tungsten heater, its name came from tungsten + the German name of tungsten (Wolfram) = Tungsram. Before the 2nd World War, Tungsram was the global leader in lamp manufacturing.

Tungsram poster from 1910. Source: Wikipedia

At the end of Communism, in 1989, as one of the first investors in Hungary and in Central- and Eastern Europe, General Electric Lighting bought the 51% of Tungsram. Later got the 100% of the company (plus bought Budapest Bank, a leading commercial bank in Hungary). Based on the positiv experiences, GE continuously was developing its presence in the country, and today all the 5 business units are present here. GE is not just the largest American company in Hungary, but one of the largest employers and exporters. GE has 2,000 key suppliers in Hungary, and the social responsibility of GE involves more scolarship programmes, talent management programmes, GE Volunteers' programmes and the charity programmes of GE Foundation.


GE's largest sites are still in lighting industry. Ivan Hutter, member of top management talked in Amcham Hungary's Voice Magazine (June 2013) about one of these manufacturing sites: Hajduboszormeny.

„GE has a large Lighting technology production facility in the city of Hajdúböszörmény. It is a global Center of Excellence for state-of-the art green lighting technologies and our measures of productivity, innovation and cost are all globally competitive. The municipal leadership is pro-business and we have an outstanding overall experience being part of the city and Hajdusag.” Ivan Hutter, Public Sector Market Development Director, GE Lighting EMEA

Future plans

GE is satisfiied with the Hungarian business environment, and signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government. The future of the company is impacted by the global economic situation, but there is no doubt: positive market trends will mean more investments in Hungary.

Finally, a 2-minutes video about the Opening of GE European Lighting Experience Centre:

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September 6, 2013

Budapest vs. Eastern Hungary: a brief comparison of manufacturing locations

Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is one of the most relevant manufacturing locations of Europe. What key differences are there between Eastern Hungary and Budapest as manufacturing sites?

4 facts about Eastern Hungary. Graphics: Manufacturing Hungary Blog

#1: Labour pool
Budapest has a metropolitan area over 2.5 million inhabitants, the 3 Eastern Hungarian regions have 4 million inhabitants. Regarding the number of job seekers, Budapest and Central Hungarian Region had 130k job seekers at the beginning of 2013, while Eastern Hungary had 219k - the 46% of the total (476k) job seekers in Hungary. The number of vocationally trained Eastern Hungarian job seekers is 68k. A last data about the hugh labour reserves of Eastern Hungary: one little town and its 20 km vicinity, Hajduboszormeny has 25k job seekers, which can be compared to the 33k job seekers in an entire region: Western Transdanubia.

#2: Labour costs
The average gross monthly earnings of employees was 260,000 HUF (approx. 870€) in Budapest in 2011, while in Eastern Hungary it was between 170-181,000 HUF (570-600€). It means, Eastern Hungary provides 30% labour cost discount compared to Budapest.

#3: Real estate market
Eastern Hungary has 95 industrial parks (more, than Poland), however there is a significant lack in existing and relatively new manufacturing and logistics halls. The M0 motorway is not just a bypass around Budapest, but the location of several business parks. The 3 million sq.meter industrial and logistics space ranks Budapest real estate market to the top of Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe.

#4: Accessibility
Two motorways, the M3 (and M30, M35) and the M5 (and M43) ensures a stable and first-class road connection between Eastern Hungary and Europe (practicly: Budapest, because in Hungary, all roads lead to Budapest). The 600 km motorways network in Eastern Hungary is longer than the motorways system of entire Slovakia, and two times longer than Romania has. Regarding air accessibility, the Budapest Airport is one of the main hubs of Europe. The developments of Debrecen International Airport has started later, it has some international destinations.

Finally, a 2-minutes video about GE Lighting Hungary, which HQs are in Budapest - but one of the major manufacturing plant in Hajduboszormeny, Eastern Hungary:

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