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Automotive SectorAutomotive Sector

Support for Investors:
Centre for Strategic Investment
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e-mail: invest@paih.gov.pl

Sector in Numbers

  • Industry income: 153.42 billion PLN (2018; 3% yoy)
  • Total industry share: 10.5 % (percentage of production sold in industrial products manufacturing section, 2018)
  • Number of employees: 202,700 in manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers 124,700 in machinery and equipment manufacturing (Official Statistics Poland data, 2018)
  • Average salary: 5309.37 PLN (state average for the industrial sector in 2018: 5121.91 PLN)
  • Number of business entities: 342 (Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, companies with 49+ employees)
  • Annual production: 451,600 passenger cars, 202,100 commercial vehicles (vans and trucks) and 5,900 buses
  • Export volume: 28.7 billion (3.8% yoy)
  • Total of FDI positions: EUR 10.3 bn (NBP, 2018)

Data refers to business entities in which the number of employees exceeds 49 persons

Geography of the Polish Automotive Sector (OEM plants)

Why Poland?

In the last decade, the Polish automotive industry recorded a 100% increase in sold production. This huge success, making the automotive industry the second largest industrial sector in Poland (10.1% share), is not a coincidence, but a result of the consistent work of entrepreneurs and the investment attractiveness of the country. Both in terms of absolute numbers and in terms of quality, Poland has the largest number of working-age people with a solid technical education in this part of Europe, both at the secondary and tertiary level. 1.4 million students, of whom over 300,000 are involved in engineering faculties, are a potential that translates directly into the excellent financial and quality results of companies investing in Poland. The sheer size of the country, its regional diversity, and access to human resources are special advantages of Poland in the Central Europe region at a time when the struggle for talent translates directly into the possibility of further development for automotive companies. It is also worth noting that in 2016 the average productivity of one employee in the sector in Poland amounted to 770.9 thousand PLN, which positions the automotive sector among the most efficient sectors of the processing industry.

What – apart from the high qualifications and availability of employees – makes Poland unique to the automotive industry?

Transport Availability – The completed (3,249 km) and planned (4,400 km) investments in the development of motorways and expressways in the coming years will soon translate into Poland's position as 5th in Europe in terms of the length of the highest category road network (ahead of Great Britain). Significant investments in the development of port terminals, especially container terminals, also allow Polish ports to obtain regular connections served by the largest vessels from Asia and the rest of Europe. In fact, Polish ports are becoming the gateway of maritime transport for all countries of the region.

Cooperative Opportunities – The presence of over 660 subcontracted companies with the IATF 16949/2016 certificate, as well as four vehicle manufacturing plants (2 x VW, FCA and PSA Group with the Opel plant), 6 bus factories (Solaris, MAN, Scania, Volvo, Autosan, URSUS/AMZ) and one MAN truck factory increases the chance of participating in the creation of added value in the sector. Poland specialises in the production of car engines, e.g. Volkswagen, Toyota (two plants), FCA engine plants are already in operation, Opel and the Daimler plant are awaiting production start. The geographic proximity of other Central European countries with developed automotive sectors is also highly significant from a cooperation opportunities.

E-mobility – The development of electromobility is an official priority for the country. Special rebate programs and co-financing for producers (e.g. related to the E-bus program) as well as for supporting the development of infrastructure for e-mobility will create additional business opportunities. The estimated total value of programs related to this field may amount to 19.4 billion PLN over the next ten years.

Financial Efficiency – An attractive system of investment incentives, including direct cash support and tax exemptions, is one of the elements positively affecting financial results. Nevertheless, the organization of work and other operating costs, which in Poland remain at a competitive level, are also important. For example, in the area of social security charges, the burden imposed on the employer in Poland is at the second lowest level among the countries of the region.

R&D Activity – A mature ecosystem of cooperation with universities and the high quality of education create a solid foundation for the development of R&D facilities, the R&D centres of companies such as ZF TRW, Delphi, Wabco, Faurecia, Nexteer, Tenneco, Eaton, Valeo, Mahle, GKN Driveline being perfect examples.

The largest first- and second-tier subcontractors in Poland

Case study

Daimler’s investment in Jawor


In 2016, the German company Daimler decided to pick Jawor in the Dolno¶l±skie voivodship as the location for a new automobile production plant. The €500 million project will create 1 000 high-quality workplaces. The modern plant will be used to produce four-cylinder engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. The new establishment will join the highest standards of the automotive sector with the notion of Industry 4.0 and aims at becoming the point of reference for the sector of engine production.

The site, directly adjacent to the S3 expressway currently under construction, provides access to a highly qualified workforce with experience in the automotive sector (guaranteed by the vicinity of Legnica, Wa³brzych, and Wroc³aw, all traditionally connected with manufacturing), as well as an excellent connection with a network of expressways in Germany and, in longer term, in the Czech Republic. Jawor’s local authorities have received external funding for the reconstruction of a local road, ensuring a high quality access to the investment site, as well as to other sites located in the 400 hectare investment zone.

LG’s investment in Kobierzyce

In 2016, the Korean company LG Chem decided to construct an electric car battery production plant in Kobierzyce near Wroc³aw. The €290 million investment, with 700 employees, fits within the Polish government’s electromobility development program. The high-value project encompasses the creation of 135 workplaces for persons with tertiary education and, aside from the creation of a global xEV battery production centre in Kobierzyce, will provide the possibility of expanding research and development works in the region. Shortly after the announcement regarding the described investment plans, the Korean company decided to expand the project by over €1.05 billion and create another 800 workplaces.

Investment incentives

The automotive sector is a priority sector for the Polish government. The principal forms of support for investors in the automotive sector include:
  • income-tax exemptions for investments in the Special Economic Zones;
  • real-estate tax exemptions granted under relevant local government regulations applicable for the investment location;various forms of support for the employment of registered unemployed persons, offered by local Employment Agencies (at the level of poviats),
  • aid offered under co-financed EU programs aimed at supporting R&D activities (e.g. Innomoto),
  • tax credit for R&D activities.

For further information regarding public aid available in Poland, visit the official website of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency S.A.: https://www.paih.gov.pl/our_services/investor_package/investment_incentives

Links to the websites of major sectoral associations:

Source: Statistical Yearbook of Industry – Poland 2018 (GUS – Statistics Poland, February 2019); Production of industrial products in 2018 (GUS – Statistics Poland, July 2019); Foreign Direct Investment in Poland in 2018 (NBP, October 2019)

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