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NC-based Lenovo opens first European factory in Hungary

The Hungary facility is part of Lenovo’s global manufacturing and supply chain strategy that serves customers in 180 markets.
Courtesy of Lenovo
The Hungary facility is part of Lenovo’s global manufacturing and supply chain strategy that serves customers in 180 markets.

Lenovo officially opened a factory in Hungary on Tuesday.

The Chinese computer company — which has its operational headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina — is looking to expand its reach in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The factory is in Üllő, about 15 miles south of Budapest. It's Lenovo's first plant in Europe. More than 1,000 people already work there, building servers and computer workstations.

Lenovo is the latest company with Chinese ties to invest in Hungary. According to the Budapest Business Journal, the Hungarian Investment and Promotion Agency announced 17 projects, including Lenovo, with Chinese firms in 2020 and 2021.

Hungary prime minister Viktor Orbán has been courting China, as European companies have balked at his government's authoritarian stances on issues like press freedom and LGBTQ rights. Orbán has also raised the ire of multinationals with a recently-announced windfall tax on banks, energy companies, and other sectors to help close a budget deficit.

The Üllő factory is one of more than 30 Lenovo factories around the world, including a site in the Guilford County town Whitsett that employs about 300 people.

The opening of the European plant comes after a record-setting fiscal year for Lenovo. Revenue reached $71 billion for the first time, despite a global chip shortage and COVID-19 lockdowns that caused factories to close in China.

Lenovo vice president Luca Rossi told investors on a May earnings call there's strong demand from companies that are making the switch to remote work.

“Our order portfolio is growing. And we also expect to end the quarter with a significant backlog in commercial (orders),” he said.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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