Automobile : PSA inaugurates a new plant in Morocco

The PSA group is continuing its implementation in Morocco. The French car manufacturer - which operates the brands Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, has

Automobile : PSA inaugurates a new plant in Morocco

The PSA group is continuing its implementation in Morocco. The French car manufacturer - which operates the brands Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, has in fact inaugurated Thursday a new factory in Kenitra (about 50 km north of Rabat), where will be produced the new city car the Peugeot 208.

a Sign of the challenge for Morocco is king Mohammed VI in person, who presided over the inauguration ceremony. The coming of the king brand, "the official launch of the construction of the second phase (...) of this plant of new generation, designed for vehicles, thermal and electrical", said the moroccan minister of Industry, Moulay Hafid Elalamy. The minister speaks of a "second phase of the work", as the plant of Kenitra product already, since December, the engines for the 208.

king Mohammed VI at the inauguration of the PSA plant in Kenitra, June 21, 2019. FADEL SENNA / AFP 200.000 vehicles "made in Morocco"

The plant of Kenitra will have a production capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year, which will be gradually increased to 200,000 vehicles per year. The objective of PSA is to double the volume of its sales in Africa and Middle East by 2021.

The site, which will eventually 2,500 employees and 1,000 stakeholders in outsourcing, has been built in 4 years in an industrial area classified as "free zone" where there are installed several automotive industry suppliers. "With this ecosystem, SAP has created a 19,000 direct jobs" thanks to the investments of the group and equipment manufacturers, welcomed Thursday, Moulay Hafid Elalamy.

automotive, head of exports in Morocco

Jean-Christophe Quémard, director of the PSA of the area Africa and the Middle East, welcomed in his speech the "contribution without flaw" of Morocco, which has allowed "to the factory to be the best standard of know-how" with a "network of automotive suppliers to world class". The installation of the group in Morocco has resulted in the opening of some sixty companies, of which 27 "greenfields" (new creations), according to several sources cited by the AFP. The chinese group Dicastal, number 1 worldwide in the manufacture of aluminum wheels, was launched in early June a new production unit in Morocco, according to Moulay Hafid Elalamy.

Morocco has been leading since several years a strategy of industrialization with the development of free zones. "Everyone is in search of competitiveness, a few years ago everything went to China, recently we see a change to the chinese model: there is a shift," said the moroccan minister, explaining that his country was trying to seize this opportunity. In Morocco, the labor is less expensive, with "the salary of an engineer less than half the level of salaries in Belgium", has he said in response to a question. The automotive sector comes since 2014 head of the exports to Morocco (24.4% of exports in 2016, ahead of the agricultural sector and phosphate). The automotive industry has reached a turnover to the export of 70 billion dirhams (€6.5 billion) in 2017.

to give priority to areas with low wages

the PSA was preceded in Morocco by his French rival Renault, which was opened in 2012 its biggest factory in Africa on the free zone of Tangier (1.1 billion euros invested, 7,000 employees, exports in 74 countries and a production horizon of the order of 500,000 vehicles in 2022).

As a Renault in Tangier, PSA benefits from the tax and customs benefits related to free trade zones and export via Tangier Med to 80 of its markets. This policy of relocation has prompted criticism in France. More generally, Renault and PSA were the most popular areas to low-wage since the early 2000s. Objective: to minimize the costs and have sites very competitive. The strategy is well known: it is to produce the models the more "high end" (high-value) on the national territory and relocate the "low-end" outside of France. PSA provides, for example, a factory in Trnava (Slovakia), which manufactures the Peugeot 208 and Citroën C3 III, while the factory of Sochaux is dedicated to the Peugeot 308.

The PSA group, which shows excellent health in Europe, despite setbacks in China, was published last year, a record net profit of 2.8 billion euros and a profitability among the highest in the industry. The group, led by Carlos Tavares, has eight other manufacturing plants in the area Africa and the Middle East are managed from Casablanca. In Algeria, the production site that was originally supposed to happen as soon as 2019 has obtained its building permit in the beginning of the year, according to media reports algerians.

Updated Date: 24 June 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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