King Mohammed VI presided on Thursday at the integrated industrial platform “Atlantic Free Zone”, in the municipality of Amer Saflia (Kenitra province), the inauguration ceremony of the ecosystem of the French group “PSA” in Morocco, a project that stimulates the development of the national automotive sector and illustrates the excellence of “Made in Morocco”.
On this occasion, the Sovereign inaugurated the PSA Group’s new plant, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles and associated engines, and the start of extension work on this latest-generation industrial complex, whose production capacity will be doubled even before 2023 – the date set for achieving this target – and which will ultimately generate 4,000 jobs.
The inauguration ceremony began with the screening of an institutional film highlighting the different stages in the realization of the PSA Group’s ecosystem in Morocco, the impact of this project on the national automotive sector and the efforts made to to ensure full success.
The Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, then delivered a speech to the King in which he stressed that thanks to the decisive impulse and the High solicitude of the Sovereign, “the infrastructure, the PSA plant and the factories of its subcontractors were carried out under the agreed conditions and the deadlines set”, four years after the signing of the strategic agreement, on June 19, 2015, between the Moroccan State and the PSA Group.
Elalamy said on this occasion that the French group PSA has invested 3 billion dirhams and plans to invest as much in its future projects in Morocco, saying that the new PSA Kenitra plant was designed to produce both thermal vehicles than electrical, thus reinforcing the industrial ambition of the Kingdom but also the assertion of the king to make Morocco a model at the level of the continent in terms of sustainable development.
Elalamy added on this occasion that PSA has invested 280 million euros and plans an additional 275 million in its future projects in Morocco, saying that the new plant PSA Kenitra was designed to produce both thermal vehicles than electrical, thus reinforcing the industrial ambition of the Kingdom but also the will of the Sovereign to make Morocco the continental champion of sustainable development.
“The results recorded to date thanks to the implementation of PSA are substantial,” continued the minister, noting in this regard that the vehicles produced in the PSA plant benefit from an integration rate of more than 60% (80 % in the long term), that 27 new factories of 10 nationalities have already settled in Kenitra, and that the R&D Center which was originally to employ 1,500 engineers and senior technicians now employs 2,300 employees, 85% of whom are engineers.
PSA purchases of parts manufactured in Morocco reached 700 million euros for the year 2018, well above expectations, he added, noting that the goal of one billion euros of purchases will be realized before 2025.
And to add that the PSA plant inaugurated today benefits from the momentum of development that the Kingdom knows, thanks in particular to the high-speed rail line that today frees the rails between Kenitra and the port of Tangier Mediterranean, and the reform of vocational training that will improve the competitiveness of industrial ecosystems.
For his part, PSA’s executive vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, Jean-Christophe Quemard, said that the king’s vision of developing efficient economic ecosystems is now a reality for the world. PSA Group with all its components, starting with the most important: the professional training of men and women who will make the future of the automotive industry with the promise of rich careers in this sector in Morocco.
On this occasion, Quemard recalled that Morocco is, more than ever, “at the heart of the PSA Group’s growth strategy, which is today one of the most successful car manufacturers in the world, noting that our Group has chosen to set up its Regional Decision Center, to develop a Research and Development Center integrated into the PSA Group’s global R&D network, and today a decisive industrial activity “.
This ceremony was marked by the unveiling of the new Peugeot 208, a vehicle produced in the Kenitra factory.
Subsequently, the king was greeted by representatives of the PSA Group’s equipment manufacturers who settled in the “Atlantic Free Zone” integrated industrial platform.
The Sovereign was greeted by Xinglong Mei, Vice President of the Chinese Group “CITIC DICASTAL”, the world’s No. 1 manufacturer of aluminum rims, whose plant, built on a 24-hectare site with an investment of nearly 4 billion dirhams, has an annual production capacity of 3 millions of rims.
The king was then greeted by Hirai Yoshinori, executive vice president of the Japanese group ASAHI Glass Co (AGC), one of the world leaders in the glass industry for various applications and uses including the automotive industry, and Hakim Abdelmoumen, Director, General Manager of AGC-Induver Automotive, an industrial unit resulting from an alliance between the Japanese group AGC and the Moroccan company Induver. Built on 13 hectares for 1.5 billion dirhams, this factory manufactures windshields and windows of last generation.
The Sovereign was also greeted by Rachid Rahmouni, vice president in charge of North Africa to the French group “FAURECIA”, the world’s number one interior vehicle, whose new factory, built on 4 hectares with an investment of 300 million dirhams completes the network of this group in Morocco.
The king then visited the various workshops of the PSA factory before posing for a photo-souvenir with his staff.
The Structuring Ecosystem organized around PSA in the Kingdom is a new success achieved in the automotive industry. An industry that thrives and achieves success. Exports of this sector, which currently employs a total of 189,600 people, doubled between 2013 and 2018, from 31.7 billion dirhams to 65.1 billion dirhams, making the automobile industry the Kingdom’s leading export sector for the 4th year in a row.