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Samsung has operated a production base in Poland since 2010. (Source: samsung.com)
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Poland being considered as a location for new home appliance factories by international companies

Both Samsung and BSH Hausgeräte, as well as investors from China, are considering new large-scale projects in Poland

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Piotr Mazurkiewicz

In the case of Samsung, the matter concerns the expanded production of tumble dryers and most likely fridges. The company is interested in developing the production of home appliances in Europe, and Poland seems to be a natural fit for the Korean investor, which already has factories producing fridges and washing machines in other parts of the country.

Nevertheless, not everything is certain in this regard, as Samsung is also considering other locations, including other Central European countries. Samsung currently has factories located in Slovakia and Hungary.

A source from Samsung told “Rzeczpospolita” daily, however, that one of the Slovakian factories was shut down several years ago, which sent shockwaves throughout the country and did not benefit Samsung at all. It would be hard to explain to the Slovakian public the worth of granting financial support from public funds to yet another Samsung project.

The company itself has refused to comment on the possibility of new investments.

Interestingly, even competitors are hoping that Samsung chooses Poland as the location for its new factories. This is because doing so would strengthen the entire sector when it comes to suppliers and the entire network of cooperating companies.

Samsung’s factories are not the only projects where Poland has a chance. BSH Hausgeräte, known for Bosch and Siemens home appliances, also has development plans. In its factories, BSH has been systematically activating new production lines and expanding the production of its fridges, which has led to systematic growth in employment. In the case of BSH, much has been said for the last few months about a potentially large-scale project that could be located in Lower Silesia. BSH also operates in Łódź in terms of home appliance production, and the company also has a factory of small appliances near Rzeszów, which it took over from Zelmer. The new investment remains a mystery.

The possibility also remains open of investment from another large Korean company, LG. In addition, Poland can count on the projects of Chinese companies such as Haier or Hisense, which have gained a foothold in Europe owing to the takeovers of Candy and Gorenje groups, respectively. The pandemic showed that global supply chains can easily be disrupted, and that the best model is production in many locations that are as close as possible to the final receiver, as this allows producers to quickly react to changes in demand.

The change in the approach of producers is beneficial to Poland, which is the largest base for home appliance production in Europe. There are 35 such factories in the country and the sector employs over 100,000 people, including sub-contractors. In 2020, 30 million units were released by the industry, 24 million of which were large home appliances, such as washing machines or fridges.

In the case of tumble dryers, Polish factories are responsible for over 90 percent of European demand, for over 50 percent in the case of washing machines, and around 20 to 30 percent in the case of fridges.