Even though Poland is yet to have its own car brand, the automotive industry is a very important part of the Polish industry that gives impetus to the whole Polish economy. The country is an important player in the European Union as a supplier of car parts, engines as well as cars.
With the production output amounting to 662, 000 cars in 2016, Poland ranks 8th in the EU, with 3.5% market share. It is behind the Czech Republic and Slovakia (5th and 7th place in the EU with 7% and 4.9% market share respectively), whilst Hungary is just behind Poland (9th place). Altogether, within the group of EU’s leading car manufacturers, there are as many as five countries from Central Europe that are responsible for over one fifth of EU’s production output. The fact that, in the recent years, Poland has lost the competition for foreign investment to its partners from the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) does not mean that it has been completely ignored by automotive groups – after all, such producers from the automotive industry as Mercedes Benz, LG Chem or Kongsberg built their factories here.
Gains greater than EU’s
The total value of sold production from the automotive companies operating in Poland increased by almost 26% between 2013 and 2016. And if one uses the beginning of the global economic crisis (2008) as the point of reference, the growth amounts to as high as 71%. This is one of the best results in the European industry due to the recession caused by the crisis.
Data from GUS (Main Statistical Office) suggests that the structure of car manufacturing in Poland changed significantly in 2017 – the overall 2.3% increase of the number of manufactured cars compared to the previous year consisted of the decrease in the production of personal cars (5.6%) and the simultaneous significant production growth (by 37.2%) of trucks, vans and buses.
However, the most dynamic segment of the Polish automotive industry, in the last few years, was the production of car parts and accessories which since 2011 (the time at which their value exceeded the total value of manufactured ready cars), has been the industry’s showcase example. At the same time, as noted in the statistical data, in 2016, the share of car parts and accessories production in the total value of the automotive industry’s production in Poland amounted to 57%, compared to almost 42% in 2007.
It can be said that the Polish industry has followed the scenarios which had been previously tested by the automotive companies from Great Britain and Spain where the established national brands were overtaken by international groups which subsequently developed not only the final car production but above all the manufacturing of components and spare parts in these countries. Because manufacturing of automotive components, parts and accessories seems like a safe business option under the Polish conditions, numerous groups of entrepreneurs specialize in deliveries encompassing the following: car accessory elements, rubber parts, consumables, construction elements, rubber-metal parts and metal parts. What is more, many Polish companies provide services within the scope of surface and plunge treatment (galvanizing, carbonizing, nitrogen treatment, painting and varnishing, anti-corrosive coating) and machining.
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