In 2019, foreign investors announced financing for 373 greenfield projects – meaning completely new investments – in Poland, together worth ~18.6 billion EUR. It made Poland the third biggest destination for investment coming into Europe, according to a new report by fDi Intelligence.
According to data provided by PAIH, in recent years the main draw for greenfield projects in Poland has been into construction, ICT and automotive sector, especially electromobility, which is the most technologically advanced part of the entire industry.
Poland is one of the best locations in the world for automotive investments. The country offers relatively inexpensive, but highly-qualified human resources and a long-standing tradition in the industry. The presence of the most significant companies in the sector is not without merit, providing a complex network of cooperative relations and availability of sub-suppliers.
Latest greenfield automotive investments in Poland
According to a 2018 report (fDi Intelligence, 2018), the number of foreign direct investments in Poland increased by 24%, to 338, making Poland the fifth-largest destination for FDI in Europe. The country ranked top for FDI in terms of job creation in 2017, with an increase of 53%.
Examples of the latest greenfield automotive FDI:
- Adient – production of components and structures for car seats, location: Siemianowice Śląskie (Silesian Voivodeship), employment: 700 jobs, opened: 2018
- Oetiker – production of clamps, rings, straps and quick connectors, location: Legnickie Pole (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), employment: 75 jobs, opened: 2018
- Mercedes Benz – production of engines, location: Jawor (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), approximate employment: 1000 jobs, planned opening: 2019
- Umicore – production of cathode materials, location: Nysa (Opole Voivodeship), approximate employment: 400 jobs planned, opening: late 2020
- Varroc Lighting Systems – production of innovative exterior vehicle lighting systems and electronics, location: Niemce (Lublin Voivodeship), approximate employment: 350 jobs, planned opening: 2019
- Korea Electric Terminal – production of electrical and electronic modules for electric cars, location: Zabrze (Silesian Voivodeship), approximate employment: 200 jobs
- Iron Force – production of airbag inflators and seatbelt components, location: Zabrze (Silesian Voivodeship), approximate employment: 100 jobs, planned opening: 2023
- LG Chem - production of advanced lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles and energy storage systems, location: Kobierzyce (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), employment: 10 000 jobs, planned opening: late 2021.
Involvement of Special Economic Zones in the automotive industry in Poland
There are 14 Special Economic Zones in Poland operating in 16 voivodships. The total area of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) spreads over 20 thousand hectares. The automotive industry takes the largest share in the total investment volumes in SEZ - according to a report by Colliers International "Special Economic Zones in Poland - the investment potential”.
According to the FDI Magazine ranking (Financial Times group), in 2019 the Katowice SSE and the Łódź SSE were among the most attractive zones in the world (2nd and 8th position, respectively). The Katowice Special Economic Zone has been recognized for the fact that from the beginning of 2018 as many as 66 new projects have been implemented there and 1.14 billion EUR has been allocated to new investments in various sectors (including automotive, metallurgy, chemical, plastics and food processing).
One of the most dynamically operating economic zones in the automotive industry is the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone "INVEST-PARK". It was established in 1997 and covers 174 Communes located in 3 Voivodeships of south-western Poland (Dolnośląskie, Opolskie and Wielkopolskie Voivodships). Thanks to the investments of global giants such as Toyota, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Umicore, not only the automotive industry is developing in south-west Poland, but also related industries such as metal and plastic processing, as well as logistics and warehouse services for this sector.
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Successes of the Polish automotive industry in 2020
- WABCO Holdings opened the new Global Test Center in Wrocław. The center is an extension of the existing Research and Development Center, which opened in October 2014.
- 100th anniversary of the establishment (February 2, 1920) of the joint stock company Polski Fiat as a national branch dealing with sale, service and repair of Turin brand cars.
- PZL Sędziszów became an owner of the Battery Guru brand - a Polish manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries. In addition to the production of batteries for industry, electromobility and research centers around the world, Battery Guru also deals with the comprehensive distribution and service of batteries and Li-On chargers.
- Toyota factory in Jelcz-Laskowice began the production of the latest generation 1.5-liter gasoline engines, designed as part of the global TNGA architecture.
- PKO BP Group launched the first banking platform in Poland for the purchase of new and used cars named Automarket.
- At the end of July: Online premiere of the Polish brand of electric cars called Izera. The company ElectroMobility Poland presented the name, logotype, slogan and two prototypes: hatchback and SUV.
- Volkswagen Poznań foundry started mass production of electric motor housings used in electric models of various brands of the Group, built on the PPE and MEB Performance platforms.
- At the end of September: The first of the three production lines of electric batteries was launched at the Mercedes factory in Jawor.
- At the end of November: Polish suppliers associated in the Polish Automotive Group launched the Polish Automotive Production Hub aimed at technological and production support for new investments in Poland.
Leading European industry
The automotive sector and related industries are the backbone of the European economy. They provide direct and indirect jobs to 13.8 million Europeans today, representing 6.1% of total EU employment. Last year, manufacturers produced 16.5 million passenger cars – representing 21% of global car output – and more than 2.6 million commercial vehicles in the EU. Almost 6.1 million of those motor vehicles were exported, generating a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the European Union in 2018.
But not only does our industry generate jobs and economic growth, automobiles are also a vital source of government revenue. New data shows that there are some 308 million motor vehicles in circulation on the EU’s roads, of which 268 million are cars. Taxation on these vehicles is worth €428 billion per year in the EU15 countries alone – that is more than two and a half times the total EU budget!