The automotive industry has a very important role for the Macedonian economy in terms of its exports. The automotive companies are largely integrated into the supply chains of the European automotive industry. These are companies that are mostly export-oriented and have a large share in the country’s exports.
Prior to the pandemic, the automotive industry was booming in recent years, and it could be credited with Increasing exports, creating a new jobs and attracting investments. Through these companies for production of automotive components, the Macedonian economy in recent years has become much more deeply integrated into global supply chains, but also completely changed the export structure, especially in favor of products with high added value.
In 2019, automotive components worth €130M were exported from the country, which is an increase of 5.6% from the previous 2018. According to the latest data from the State Statistical Office, 65% of the total exports of the country in January 2021 were made by companies in the automotive industry.
Most automotive components are exported to Romania, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Mexico and Brazil. Data from the State Statistical Office show that exports of automotive components are increasing every year. The country’s existing manufacturers supply European, Russian, Turkish and African markets.
The automotive industry in these markets is particularly active as global players have invested over € 20 bn in car production in Central and Eastern Europe in the last ten years. The quality products produced in these factories, in accordance with the highest automotive standards, assure that the production in the Macedonian sector for automotive components has a very huge export potential.
These companies have a large global reach, exporting to Europe, Russia, Turkey, Africa and around the globe, encompassing a duty-free market of over 650 million customers resulting from three multilateral trade agreements (SAA with EU, EFTA with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and CEFTA with the rest of the Western Balkans) and two bilateral agreements with Turkey and Ukraine. North Macedonia’s location allows it to deliver to many of these regions quickly, taking less than a day to Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey and two days maximum to Western Europe.
The 15 largest companies in the automotive industry in the country in 2019 generated total revenues of €2.9 bn, which is 25% of Macedonian GDP or 43% of the country’s total annual exports.
Companies like Johnson Matthey, Kromberg & Schubert, Amphenol Technology, Marquardt, Tab Mak, Joyson Safety Systems, Draxslmaier, Gentherm, Lear Corporation, Kostal, Adient, ARC Automotive, Lth Learnica, Adient Automotive, Aptiv, ODW Elektrik, Accomplast, “ Kablo, Murat Ticaret, Dura Automotive Systems and many others have set up large export-oriented production facilities in the country and have already reinvested several times. Also, in recent years we have witnessed a number of successful smaller local and foreign ventures in this sector, creating opportunities for further development.