“Bombardier does not leave, but subcontracts its activities to Morocco”. The difference is there for Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry and Trade. First and foremost, it is a global trend.
“All major manufacturers like Boeing or Airbus outsource more than 60 percent of their business to focus on R&D and assembly,” says Elalamy. This operation is on the contrary a chance for the aeronautics sector, estimates the minister.
Among the possible buyers, there are big caliber like Airbus, American Spirit or English JKM. “In 3 weeks, we will be fixed on the identity of the buyer,” announces Elalamy, during a press conference to calm concerns about the decision of the Canadian manufacturer to sell two of its subsidiaries in Casablanca (400 employees) and Belfast (3,500 employees).
“Today, we have 140 equipment manufacturers in Morocco with significant growth in the sector and an integration rate of 34%, which has exceeded our expectations, with prospects to go beyond,” says the minister.
For its part, Hamid Benbrahim El Andaloussi, president of Midparc, said that this sale of Bombardier does not call into question the development of its activities, since the commitments of the Canadian manufacturer will be held and certainly exceeded given the quality of potential buyers.
For El Andaloussi, this sale does not affect Bombardier’s projects in Morocco. “We have been working for a few months on the Bombardier expansion project in Morocco and our goal is to open it in the spring of next year,” Benbrahim said.
Elalamy even hinted that another project with Bombardier was in the pipe, but that he could not officially announce it for a few weeks. “I met the president of the Bombardier group two weeks ago, and we agreed on a third development, which I could not talk about for now,” he said.
In 20 years, the number of companies has increased from 3 to 140 in the aerospace industry and “none left Morocco,” said the president of Midparc. The sector is growing at an annual rate of 18%, more than 3 times the global growth rate. “The year 2018 recorded a growth of 22%,” announces Benbrahim. The sector is now achieving an integration rate of 34%.
This exit of the Minister of Industry and Commerce comes just days before the announcement made by the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, which sells its activities in Morocco. He wants to focus on assembly, R&D and some marketing.
The Canadian group restructured several times by selling one of its aircraft, the CSeries, to Airbus, which became the A-220. It has also decided to structure all of its activities by putting two of its plants on sale to large and large aeronautical subcontractors.
As a reminder, the Moroccan site produces wing components, nacelles and floors for CRJ regional aircraft, fuselage parts or Learjet business jet doors, as well as subassemblies for various programs.