WARSAW -- For air filter maker PZL Sedziszow, Poland's ambitious plan to produce electric vehicles from scratch could be the catalyst that helps domestic suppliers catch up with foreign rivals.
State-owned ElectroMobility Poland has unveiled prototypes for the Izera SUV and hatchback, two electric models aimed at the budget market which it plans to launch in 2023.
PZL Sedziszow started making battery packs two years ago and believes the government's 5 billion-zloty ($1.3 billion) plan to build the two models will attract more global automakers to the market.
"Only new mobility can really boost car production in Poland," owner and Chairman Adam Sikorski told Reuters.
"If the manufacturers see there are sufficient and reliable suppliers of electric car parts in Poland, they will be more willing to place assembly plants in Poland."
Auto parts manufacturing accounts for 11 percent of industrial production and 4 percent of gross domestic product in Poland, far less than in Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where the sector accounts for more than a third of industrial output.
But Warsaw believes the switch from combustion-engine vehicles to EVs could provide an opportunity to close the gap.
Climate Minister Michal Kurtyka predicted Poles would embrace a national car brand, and its success could raise the international profile of the country's suppliers.
"We have a chance to add an additional boost to this ecosystem which already exists," he told Reuters.
Even if project doesn't succeed, it could still provide a boost to the components sector.
"It is difficult to produce a car from scratch and equally difficult to do it in big volumes," PwC CEE automotive industry leader Jens Horning said. "But this will attract innovation and new technology in the supplier space."