BUDAPEST -- Hungary is ready to give financial support to Audi to help its manufacturing plant in the country run at full capacity, Prime Minister Viktor Orban was reported as saying on Monday as he visited the site.
Orban said Audi was key to the Hungarian economy's recovery from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have to fight for the Audi plant as well," state news agency MTI cited Orban as saying.
MTI said Audi's engine and car manufacturing plant in the western Hungarian city of Gyor returned to normal operation with three shifts on Monday after weeks of disruption caused by the pandemic.
"We can protect jobs with agreements," MTI cited Orban as saying. The prime minister did not elaborate on the specifics of support for Audi, which employed more than 12,800 people at Gyor at the end of 2019 and is one of Hungary's top exporters and revenue producers.
An Audi spokeswoman declined to comment.
The Gyor plant manufactured 1.97 million engines and 164,817 units of the Q3 SUV model family last year.
Investments of more than 11.5 billion euros have been made at the facility since Audi started production in the country in 1993.
Orban said it could take up to two years for major manufacturers in Hungary to draw up plans exceeding those from before the pandemic, signaling a potentially long recovery for the local car sector, a mainstay of the Hungarian economy.
MTI cited Audi Hungary Chairman Alfons Dintner as saying that the Gyor factory was still well below pre-crisis output levels, adding that customer demand was "moderate."