23 May 2023 – A street at the Zalaegerszeg plant of Rheinmetall Hungary Zrt., a joint venture co-owned by Rheinmetall and the Hungarian state, was officially renamed “Rheinmetall Út” at a ceremony on 23 May 2023. Present at the event were representatives from the Group as well as Zoltán Balaicz, the city’s mayor, and other guests of honour. Dr Imke Nora Kellner, CEO of Rheinmetall Hungary Zrt., emphasized how “…our investment here is powering economic growth in the region and creating good jobs for skilled workers at our Hungarian suppliers. In future we’ll be developing, producing and maintaining cutting-edge armoured vehicles, contributing to security and freedom in Europe.”
A modern development, production and testing centre is currently going up at the site, with around 350 new jobs and potential for growth in surface area and technology. The focus is on developing and manufacturing state-of-the-art tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles for the Hungarian armed forces, particularly the new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. Low-rate initial production began in January of this year. High safety standards protect the plant’s neighbours from noise and hazards, with even the smallest amounts of mostly practice ammunition for function testing kept in secure underground storage facilities, and ballistic testing confined to an underground shooting tunnel. There will be no above-ground ballistic tests or test detonations, nor will test drives take place on public roads in Zalaegerszeg.
The Düsseldorf-based technology enterprise’s numerous local initiatives not only reflect its commitment to the community, but also its strategic goal of achieving Groupwide CO2 neutrality by 2035. As Andreas Baumeier, chief operations officer of Rheinmetall Hungary Zrt., explains, “We take our technological and social responsibilities very seriously, which is why we invest in innovative products and technologies, but also in sustainable operations and in reducing C02 emissions through the use of renewable energy sources.”
Now underway, the first expansion of the plant therefore includes installation of solar panels, and trees have already been planted along Rheinmetall Ùt, with more to follow around the grounds. In future, most company cars will be either electric or hybrid, while vehicles confined to the plant (such as forklifts, logistic, security and pool vehicles) already operate in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner.
At the end of the ceremony, Michael Stolze, CFO of Rheinmetall Hungary Zrt., noted that “The street name Rheinmetall Út isn’t just an honour for us. It also underscores the cooperative and long-term nature of our working relationship, now and in future. We would thus like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to the local authorities and their representatives for supporting our endeavour!”
Photo courtesy Rheinmetall