Automotive Industry: New Comer Confirms Morocco’s attractiveness

Spain’s car parts maker, Ficosa, is planning to set up in Morocco a plant specialized in producing in-vehicle cameras, Spanish media reported.

The Catalonia-based Ficosa, which has been sold to Japan’s Panasonic last July, plans to invest €50 million in two new plants in Morocco and Malaysia respectively.

The Moroccan factory will be located in Rabat and will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to manufacture in-vehicle cameras.

The factory will be ready in five years and is expected to offer 800 direct job opportunities.

This new investment confirms the attractiveness of Morocco’s automotive industry, which has become a leading export sector, attracting world-class manufacturers and car parts makers.

Last July, Canada’s auto parts manufacturer Linamar announced that it will build a $280 million plant to supply engine parts to the new Peugeot factory before expanding to new plants that should open soon in Morocco.

U.S. auto parts maker Delphi Corp. will also set up a new factory making electrical distribution systems and a research and development center in the North African kingdom.

Last June, leading Japanese car parts maker, JTEKT, said it will build a plant worth €15 million in Tangier, an investment that will further bolster the automotive ecosystem in the country.

Likewise, Italian auto parts maker, Sogefi, announced the building of a plant to produce engine filters in Tangier for a total investment of €10 million.

The development of the automotive industry in the country will help the government create 90,000 jobs by 2020 in addition to the 100,000 that already exist. The government also aspires to increase the proportion of locally produced components in exported cars from 40% to 65% by the end of the decade.

Morocco’s proximity to the European market, modern infrastructures, free trade zones, qualified cheap manpower, open economy and stability have all contributed to making Morocco a regional car industry hub attracting investments by automotive giants such as Renault and Peugeot in addition to world class car parts manufacturers.

The Tangier Renault plant, achieved for a total cost of €1.6 billion, started operating in 2012 and hit a production level of 345,000 cars in 2016 up from 229,000 cars in 2015. Today, 10% of total cars sold by Renault in the globe are made in Morocco, where 73% of production is exported to 73 countries, notably in Europe and the MENA region.

The expanding car industry sector in Morocco has attracted significant PSA Peugeot Citroen investment to build a production plant worth $632 million near Kenitra. Works have already started to build the plant, which is expected to be ready in 2019.

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