Poland is seen as one of the new hotspots for automotive investment. An Ernst & Young report recommends Poland as one of the best places to locate new factories in Europe.
With an auto industry dating back to the 1920’s, the country is already well known for auto component production, with a network of over 700 suppliers, of which 320 have the ISO/TS 16949 quality certification.
Michelin is expanding production in Poland, while new investors include Grupo Antolin, TRW, Lear, Nord, Voss, NTK, Daicel, NGK and Stahlschmidt & Maiworm, according to the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency or PAIiIZ. PAIiIZ was established on the 24th of June, 2003, as a result of the merger of the State Foreign Investment Agency (PAIZ) and the Polish Information Agency (PAI). PAIiIZ’ mandate is to help foreign investors in Poland. It also helps promote Polish goods and services overseas.
Automotive Industries (AI) spoke to Pawel Wojciechowski, President of PAIiIZ, and asked how attractive is the investment climate was in Poland today.
Wojciechowski: Highly attractive. Poland’s location at the very heart of Europe, well educated people, large domestic market and stabile financial system, so important in the time of financial turmoil, make Poland a credible business partner and an attractive place to invest.
AI: What are some of the most recent investors?
Wojciechowski: In 2008, Keiper decided to build a factory in Skarbimierz, Ford will start the production of new Ford Ka in Tychy, while Hoerbriger Automotive Komfortsysteme, ADPF and Kirchhoff Automotive have also decided to invest. In September Toyota Boshoku Corporation announced the establishment of an automotive interior parts manufacturing company, TBAI Poland in Nowogrodziec. This is the first Toyota’s seat frame manufacturing plant in the EU. Products will be delivered to the seat-assembling bases of Toyota Boshoku’s group companies in Europe. Manufacturers already present on our market have taken steps to rebuild existing plants. These include Michelin, General Motors, Isuzu, MAN, Michelin, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, which have inspired the sub-contractors to transfer production capacity to Poland.
AI: What did the Ernst & Young report say about investment in Poland?
Wojciechowski: It shows that Poland is second in the ranking of top 20 countries in terms of job creation and the first European location to be considered for new investment or expansion projects.
AI: What makes Poland so attractive?
Wojciechowski: Poland is a major force in the production of the rubber parts, car seats and upholstery, auto electronics, electrical cables or braking system parts. Engines are steadily becoming the “Polish specialty". The items produced in Polish factories are of high quality.
Polish car parts can be found in Opel, Toyota or Volkswagen, but also in Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Furthermore, the human capital makes our country an excellent location for the automotive investments: we offer highly qualified workers educated at excellent technical institutes, together with a network of over 700 sub-contractors. Thanks to the location at the very heart of Europe, the close cooperation with the motor manufacturers and plants in neighboring countries is developing year after year.
AI: How will PAIiIZ’ strategy change in order to attract new investments?
Wojciechowski: The greenfield projects, one of the main forms of investment serviced by PAIiIZ should stay at the similar level. However, the proportion of investments can change: today, we have definitely more projects from the production sector. I think that in the near future there will be more FDI projects in various services sectors, such as BPO, shared service centers or R&D. Thanks to its human potential, Poland will also become the major destination for foreign direct investment in the service industries.