Automobile exports play a pivotal role in the Portuguese economy. Over the years, Portugal has built a strong reputation for manufacturing high-quality vehicles. Statistics show that in 2022, Portugal exported over 96% of the vehicles produced, totaling more than 300,000 vehicles manufactured within the country. This achievement solidifies Portugal's position as one of the most important players in the automotive export sector.

The national automotive production seems resilient to the industry's crises, marking 2022 as its second-best year ever.

The most prominent player in the national automotive industry is the Autoeuropa factory, located in Palmela, which manufactured 231,100 vehicles last year, accounting for 71.7% of the total vehicles produced in the country. The Palmela factory is responsible for producing models such as the Volkswagen T-Roc and the SEAT Alhambra, which are exported worldwide.

Next is the Stellantis factory in Mangualde, producing vehicles for the Peugeot and Citroën brands. Last year, this factory produced a total of 77,422 vehicles, including well-known models like the Peugeot 2008 and the Citroën Berlingo.

In the third position, there is the Renault factory in Cacia, specialized in the production of light commercial vehicles such as the Renault Kangoo.

In addition to the major brand factories, Portugal also boasts several small and medium-sized enterprises specialized in manufacturing automotive components.

Several factors contribute to Portugal's prowess in the automotive industry. Geographical location is undoubtedly significant, providing advantageous access to key European markets. Portuguese factories have made significant investments in technology and quality. Moreover, the country possesses a highly skilled workforce in the sector. The combination of these factors results in the efficient production of high-quality vehicles. Additionally, it's essential to mention the fiscal incentives provided by the Portuguese government to foreign companies, encouraging investments in this sector.

As the global automotive industry evolves toward electrification and sustainable mobility, Portugal must adapt to these trends. The production of electric vehicles and research into more sustainable technologies have become major concerns for Portuguese factories. The goal is to create new export opportunities as the global demand for electric vehicles grows.

Portugal has proven to be a vital player in the European automotive industry, thanks to its production quality, highly skilled workforce, strong emphasis on technological advancement, and commitment to sustainability. If the country continues on this path, with a solid foundation in automobile exports, a future of significant growth and success awaits.


Cláudia Ferreira, who holds a degree in Communication Sciences from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, is currently serving as the assistant director and commercial representative at Casaiberia.

Cláudia Ferreira