BUDAPEST – Passenger-car production in Hungary grew 26.5% in 2006 to 187,553 vehicles manufactured at the country’s two plants, Magyar Suzuki Zrt. and Audi Hungaria Motor Kft.

Magyar Suzuki built 163,884 cars last year, a 20.5% increase over 2005. The Suzuki Swift accounted for 75,286 units, followed by the Suzuki SX4 cross/utility vehicle (33,759) and Ignis (25,402).

In addition to Suzuki-badged vehicles, the Hungarian plant also produced 24,943 Fiat Sedici CUVs and 4,494 Ignis-based Subaru G3X Justys.

Kazuhisa Toda, general director of Magyar Suzuki, says the Esztergom-based plant increased capacity last year.

“We are trying to catch up with market demand,” he says. “In the first half of 2006, we had a production capacity of 150,000 units, and in the second half of 2006 increased it to 200,000 units. We plan to produce over 200,000 cars in 2007 and 300,000 units next year.”

Magyar Suzuki will begin production of the successor models to the Opel Agila and Suzuki Wagon R+ microvans in December. Current versions of both cars are built at the General Motors Mfg. Poland Sp. z o.o. plant in Gliwice, Poland.

Audi Hungaria Motor, the country’s second auto maker, rolled out 23,669 vehicles last year, a 92.3% increase over 2005, as it switched from the first to the second-generation Audi TT.

The company produced 4,363 first-generation TTs – 2,765 coupes and 1,598 roadsters – last year. It also built 18,690 next-generation TT coupes and 616 new TT roadsters.

The Gyor-based plant also is a large engine manufacturer, producing a record 1,893,600 engines in 2006, up 11.8% from 2005. They include 1,565,925 4-cyls., 272,205 6-cyls., 49,627 8-cyls. and 5,843 new 10-cyl engines.