ROAD TO IABM INTERVIEWS
“TOYOTA HAS MADE POLAND THE SECOND LARGEST PRODUCTION CENTRE FOR MODERN HYBRYD DRIVES OUTSIDE JAPAN”.
Interview with Dariusz Mikołajczak, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland
Building business relations in the automotive sector is the main goal of the International Automotive Business Meeting, during which experts and representatives of the industry from all over the world will meet online on October 20th.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland is the center of Toyota’s conventional and hybrid drives.
To date, Toyota has invested over PLN 4.5 billion in south-western Poland, in Wałbrzych and Jelcz-Laskowice, creating more than 2,000 permanent jobs.
TMMP is beginning research and development activities in Polish factories related to the testing of materials used in hybrid components, which is an expression of the company’s trust in local teams.
Dariusz Mikołajczak became the President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland in January 2020 and started working for Toyota in 2000. He is a graduate of Wroclaw University of Technology, Toyota Institute in Japan and University of Pennsylvania in the USA. He has worked for two years in the production engineering department in Toyota’s largest engine production plant, Kamigo, being responsible for the launch of new production lines in Japan and in the company’s factories outside Japan.
Toyota is a company that is willing to invest abroad. Why?
As Toyota we strive to manufacture cars exactly where we sell them. Due to the growing sales of the company’s cars in Europe, Toyota decided to build car assembly plants in the UK in the 1990s and then in Turkey, France, the Czech Republic and Russia. The next, natural step was the decision to establish the production of components in the Old Continent.
What prompted Toyota to invest in Poland?
The company was prompted to invest in Poland, in Lower Silesia, among other things, by its favourable location, i.e. convenient location in relation to the existing assembly plants. The second issue was the availability of workforce, including the proximity of academic centre in Wrocław and the strong industrial traditions in Wałbrzych and Jelcz, which are cities affected by structural unemployment. The third important aspect was the favour of both central and local authorities, which offered Toyota prepared and equipped investment plots as well as tax reliefs related to operations in the Wabrzych Special Economic Zone.
How has the production of components in local factories evolved?
I think that during all these years of transformation we have proved that we are an ambitious and fast learning nation, which is able to reach for more and more technologically advanced solutions. In my opinion, there are no barriers and we can produce any product: we started with simple manual gearboxes and today we are producing the latest TNGA petrol engines and electric hybrid transmissions, including electric motors, which we will start producing in 2021 with the launch of the new hybrid transmission line.
When deciding on the location of investments, not everything can be predicted. Does your actual experience allow you to define those aspects that have surprised you in a positive and negative way?
Toyota originally planned to invest PLN 100 million in Poland and employ 300 people. After twenty years, investments have increased 50 times and employment 10 times. Subsequent investment projects coming to Poland prove the rightness of this decision and the company’s great trust in the Polish staff of Toyota factories, which proved being able to meet the company’s requirements and achieve very good results in terms of quality, safety, sensitive kaizen and improvements. The Polish Toyota factories are also the first place outside Asia where it was decided to introduce the production of hybrid electric drives.
Despite significant improvements in this respect, the road and rail network in Poland, which ensures smooth and efficient transport of goods, is still a shortcoming and in the case of Toyota, which is distinguished by a lack of warehouses and just-in-time production, it is a crucial aspect. The second issue that we perceive quite strongly concerns the long and complicated procedures of obtaining work permits by foreigners from outside the European Union, which can cause problems with the efficient replacement of the Japanese management staff of our factory.
What will be the next Toyota investment decisions? Are you planning further investments?
We are halfway to invest in hybrid drives in Poland. Three projects are already completed. We plan to launch another three in the next few months.
Next year we will start production of two lines of eco-hybrid gearboxes cooperating with 1.5 l capacity TNGA engine, including the production of electric motors for these gearboxes happening for the first time. In 2022 we plan to launch the second line of 1.5 l TNGA engines.
Thank you for the interview!
(interviewed by Krzysztof Kowalski, electromobility expert)
About International Automotive Business Meeting
International Automotive Business Meeting (IABM) is an elite meeting of the automotive sector, which brings together industry leaders and experts, car manufacturers, the largest Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, representatives of European, Polish and local authorities, institutions and industry associations. The event is attended by over 300 representatives of companies from Poland, Europe and the largest global automotive markets such as China, Japan, India and the United States.
IABM provides independent, professional and reliable knowledge on the situation on the automotive market in Poland and worldwide. The objective of IABM is to provide a clear vision of the changes in the automotive sector in the near future and its impact on the supply chain and to determine how electromobility and advanced driver assistance systems will affect the development of the automotive sector in Poland and worldwide. IABM is a unique opportunity to gain a detailed insight into the automotive industry and new technologies associated with it, as well as build a network of contacts in the industry and acquire business partners.
During this year’s online edition of IABM each participant will have many networking opportunities .
In the previous edition of IABM, representatives of 270 companies took part in 5 Speed Business Mixer sessions and hundreds of B2B meetings. Many of the conducted talks resulted in later cooperation between companies.
Detailed program and registration for the online edition available here: www.iabmevent.com
Organizers: Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland, Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) and Silesia Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster, City of Dąbrowa Górnicza.
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