The BMW Group has announced plans to expand its production network in Europe, investing approximately €1-billion (that's about R15,5-billion at the current exchange rate) to build a new facility in Hungary.

Set to be built close to the town of Debrecen, the German brand says its new plant will offer a capacity of up to 150 000 units a year and create more than 1 000 new jobs.

Although the Munich-based automaker has not yet revealed which vehicles it plans to build at the factory, it has said that Hungary will manufacture conventionally as well as electrically powered vehicles, all on a single production line.

It describes Debrecen as an “ideal” site thanks to its “very good infrastructure, suitable logistics connections and proximity to the established supplier network”. The brand furthermore promises that the plant in Debrecen will set “new standards in digitalisation, sustainability and flexibility”.

“The BMW Group’s decision to build this new plant reaffirms our perspective for global growth. After significant investments in China, Mexico and the United States, we are now strengthening our activities in Europe to maintain a worldwide balance of production between Asia, America and our home continent,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW’s board of management.

“Europe is the BMW Group’s largest production location. In 2018 alone we are investing more than €1-billion in our German sites to upgrade and prepare them for electric mobility,” he added.