GYOR, Hungary – Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. celebrates the official rollout of the new Audi TT coupe at its plant here.

Job One actually took place a few weeks ago, but Audi AG wanted to wait to celebrate the event until the new Hungarian government was sworn into office and Minster of Economy and Transport Janos Koka could drive the TT off the line during the ceremony.

“The TT project in Gyor was realized within only 20 months,” says Audi Hungaria Motor Chairman Thomas Faustmann. “We have succeeded in considerably reducing production time for the new TT, even though it is more sophisticated and more complex than the predecessor model.”

A total of €230 million ($290 million) has been invested in the production of the new TT.

Of that, €20 million ($25 million) went for new equipment for the Gyor plant, Faustmann says. The rest includes investment at Audi’s Ingolstadt, Germany, plant and in special tooling for suppliers.

As in the case of the first-generation TT, the new model goes through the body and paint shops at the Ingolstadt plant, which uses 277 single components to make the body.

The TT coupe body weighs 454 lbs. (206 kg), consisting of 309 lbs. (140 kg) in aluminum and 146 lbs. (66 kg) in steel. Painted bodies are transported by train to Hungary.

In Gyor, the car is assembled in a 376,740-sq.-ft. (35,000 sq.-m) shop. A second shift will be launched June 26, while a third shift is to be added in December. Some 800 employees will work to build the TT on three shifts.

Audi plans to produce about 20,000 new TT coupes this year. The new model will be launched in the European market in September.

Output of the next-generation Audi TT roadster will begin in early 2007.

“The production capacity will be higher than that of the predecessor model,” says Jochem Heizmann, member of Audi’s board of management responsible for production and chairman of the supervisory board of Audi Hungaria Motor.

Heizmann declines to provide annual capacity figures, but other sources put the total at 70,000 units. To date, the plant’s output peak was in 2000, when 56,776 first-generation TT coupes and roadsters were built.

The number of suppliers shipping locally manufactured or assembled parts for the new model has been increased to 17 compared with 12 for the outgoing car.

The last first-generation TT coupe was produced in early May, while the last TT roadster left the assembly line June 9.

In addition to cars, Gyor manufactures engines. Last year it produced 1,693,609 gasoline and diesel powerplants, and officials expect that number to be topped this year.

Currently, Audi Hungaria Motor employs some 5,100 people.

Faustmann says Audi will invest €1 billion ($1.26 billion) in Hungary over the next five years, assuming the business environment in the country remains positive.