French Dominance in Automotive Industry: A Unique Perspective

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The Moroccan automotive industry has experienced remarkable development in recent decades, with significant performances in exports and in terms of job creation, as evidenced by an average double-digit growth for these two indicators, over the last ten years. Today, with a turnover of more than 85 billion DH, this sector is the leading exporter in the Kingdom, with a local integration rate of 64%. It is also now the continent’s leading automobile manufacturing hub.

It must be said that it is since the commissioning of the French manufacturer Renault’s factory in Tangier in 2012 that the sector has experienced this new dynamic, as evidenced by the substantial increase in the sector’s production capacity, which reached around 700,000 units. The Kingdom achieved such performance also thanks to another French vehicle and engine manufacturer, Stellantis.

Indeed, 4 years ago, in 2019, Peugeot, which is now part of Stellantis, followed the example of Renault. It opened a factory costing nearly $600 million in Kenitra, with a capacity of 200,000 vehicles. Last November, Stellantis, which manufactures the Peugeot 208 in this factory, announced that it would invest an additional 300 million euros to double production and increase it to 400,000 vehicles.

But, this sector is not only automobile assembly and/or construction, it is also ecosystems developed from the two French manufacturers Renault and Stellantis. In other words, the arrival of these two French manufacturers led to a wave of investments by automobile equipment manufacturers in the kingdom. Whether they come from Europe, the United States, Japan or China, investments have never faltered since the start of the opening of the giant Renault factory in Tangier and that of Stellantis which nevertheless gave a new impetus to the sector, whether in rank 1, 2 or 3.

If the French manufacturers have attracted most automobile equipment suppliers to set up around them, the potential of the Moroccan automobile industry, which ranks among the 24 global vehicle producers, has resonated with Spanish companies in the sector, which have also established themselves for two of their main customers, the Renault groups, which sourced more than 60% of the parts for its vehicles from Morocco, and Stellantis. The number of equipment manufacturers from Morocco’s Iberian neighbor is increasing. For example, multinationals Ficosa and Gestamp have opened two production plants in the kingdom, while two other companies already present, Teknia and Antolín, have opened new ones. According to the most recent version of the directory compiled by the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX España), 20 companies in the automotive sector are currently established in Morocco.

Moroccan assets attract Spanish investors in the automotive sector: geographical proximity to Spain, a very competitive workforce and qualified personnel and the trade agreements that the kingdom has signed with the European Union and the UNITED STATES.

This article is originally published on challenge.ma

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