"The opening of a Daimler-Benz factory in central Hungary's Kecskemet is one of the greatest recent achievements for the country, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the opening ceremony on Thursday.
In his address, Orban called Kecskemet "another stronghold" of Hungary's vehicle production and said that the new factory constituted "a great step" in efforts to make the country a global car-making centre.
"We are on the right path and our German friends are living proof that we are not marching alone," the prime minister said. He added that the new plant was "pointing in the right direction of a future in which Europe can leave behind its overwhelming past because it will again learn how to work".
The inauguration of the 800-million-euro plant was also attended by Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover and Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy.
The plant will employ about 3,000 people to turn out next-generation compact models, said Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche.
Earlier, the plant was expected to employ about 2,500 people, but Zetsche said the number was raised because of big demand for the company's new models. He added that more than 100,000 orders had already arrived for the new B-Class.
The new plant will make two of four next-generation A- and B-Class models. It plans to turn out an annual 100,000-120,000 vehicles.
The foundation stone of the plant was laid in the autumn of 2009. Hungarian companies won more than 80 percent of the contracts for the construction."