Sadly, for the time being, having a Polish manufacturer producing passenger cars is something in the sphere of dreams. For several years there was a lot of buzz about the ambitious Arrinera project, while now the foundations are being laid for the Polish electric car brand Izera. However, this does not mean that the automotive industry is not doing well in our country. Actually, it is quite opposite. In Poland we can find many factories of big manufacturers that create their vehicles here.
Stellantis – Polish Factories Under the Umbrella of a Superconglomerate
Stellantis is a conglomerate that was created in 2021 as a result of the combination of two other huge automotive companies. The French PSA and the Italian-American FCA. The merger was born in pain and was planned for a long time, but it was finally completed last year. Ever since then, the French-Italian-American superconglomerate (because that’s how you have to talk about a company of this size) has a number of very recognized brands. The group includes Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, as well as more luxurious or sporty brands such as DS or Maserati.
In Poland, there are a total of four factories currently managed by Stellantis. Two of them are located in Tychy – one is responsible for producing Opel cars, while the other creates small cars from the former FCA group, such as the Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon. Another FCA factory is located in Bielsko-Biala, while one of the larger Opel factories is located in Gliwice. Until recently, the very popular Astra model was produced there, but now the facility is changing its profile – it is now producing delivery vehicles for the German manufacturer from Ruesselsheim.
Volkswagen – The Largest Automotive Employer in Poland
Although Stellantis has four factories in Poland, the Volkswagen factory in Poznan stands out in terms of the number of employees. The factory, which also has a branch in Wrzesnia, produces a large number of delivery vehicles for the German car manufacturer. Currently, the factory produces the Caddy, Crafter, and Transporter models, but in the past it has also produced other models such as the Audi A6, Seat Cordoba, Skoda Fabia, Skoda Felicia, Volkswagen Bora, Volkswagen Polo, and Volkswagen Passat. The factory’s main focus is now on producing delivery vans.
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Solaris – Polish Buses
Above I mentioned only foreign corporations that have branches in Poland, but we can also boast of a few polish companies in the automotive industry. It is worth mentioning the company called Solaris, which produces buses and trolleybuses. Its headquarters and factory are located in Bolachowo-Osiedle near Poznan and employs about 2600 people.
Solaris is a Polish company that is one of the largest bus manufacturers in Europe. Although it is based in Poland and has only one factory in the country, it is currently formally owned by the Spanish consortium Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. The CEO of the company is Javier Calleja. Despite its current ownership, we can still consider Solaris a Polish company due to its origins and location.
Solaris is a Polish manufacturer of urban transportation vehicles, including city buses, intercity buses, tourist buses, trolleybuses, and trams. These vehicles are produced at four different plants in Poland: two plants in Sroda Wielkopolska handle the welding of bus and trolleybus frames as well as tram boxes. The final assembly of these vehicles takes place in Poznan and Bolechowo. This company is a major player in the transportation industry in Poland.
Other Vehicles Manufactured in Poland
Not only do these three companies have factories in Poland. It is worth mentioning the company MAN, which produces heavy vehicles in Starachowice and Niepolomice. Volvo, which produces buses as well as Scania in Slupsk.
In Wroclaw, there is a Volvo bus factory that is a part of the Volvo Bus Corporation, one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world. This factory in Wroclaw produces city, intercity, and tourist buses by integrating the processes of chassis and body assembly.
In this aspect, it is also worth telling about the company called Melex – a Polish company with its headquarters in Mielec. „Melexes” have become a wide and universal term for small, utilitarian electric vehicles. Not everyone knows that it is a fully Polish company.
In Jelcz-Laskowice, a city in Lower Silesia, a company called „Jelcz” produces heavy-duty trucks. These are mostly military vehicles with medium to large load capacities.
There are also several other centers in Poland responsible for research, production, and development of specific components. One of those might be the Mercedes-Benz factory in Jawor on Lower Silesia. I like MB cars, so I was really excited to find out about the new production facility for the Mercedes brand’s four-cylinder engines in Jawor.
It is the first such factory outside Germany that supplies units for almost all Mercedes models. From the compact A-Class to the luxury S-Class. The investment in the property cost about 500 million euros and provide workplaces for about 500 people. The Jawor plant is also designed to be able to provide solutions for electromobility business, including the production of batteries for electrified Mercedes models.
What Car Designs are Polish?
Poland just in theory has its own passenger car design. It is Izera. Its presentation took place in 2000. This car has a chance to be successful on the market, but it should be noted that we are not talking about mass production here. The bottleneck in this kind of venture is primarily the availability of batteries, since Izera is suppose to be electric car.
What Models Does VW Produce in Poland?
„Volkswagen Poznań” is a commercial vehicle and component factory. Volkswagen’s VW Caddy 5 and VW Transporter models have been produced in Poznań for more than 15 years. These vehicles are distributed to the markets all over the world. Volkswagen Poznań is currently the largest employer in Wielkopolska and one of the biggest in the country.
Where Is the Largest Cars Manufactured in Poland?
The biggest car factory in Poland and one of the largest in Europe is Fiat in Tychy. After Fiat’s merger with Chrysler in January 2015 and the incorporation of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), it is the Tychy Plant of FCA Poland.
Is the FIAT 126p Polish?
It was polish, because it was produced under FIAT license by the Polish „Fabryka Samochodów Małolitrażowych”. Since 1992 it was part of the Fiat concern as Fiat Auto Poland. It was manufactured as the Polish Fiat 126p (in Italy until 1980, in Poland between June 6, 1973 and September 22, 2000).
Why and When did FSO Bankrupt?
On February 23, 2001, the last of the 150,000th Chevrolet Aveo left the FSO plant. Even though car manufacturing is no longer carried out at the Żerań plant since then, FSO is still active in the automotive market. They produce car parts and run a repair shop.
As a matter of fact, the bankruptcy of FSO for no one was supposed to be a surprise. The fact that the factory would not survive the political transformation was already discussed thirty years ago. The direct causes of the crisis was lack of orders from customers and a drastic increase in taxes.