HM King Mohammed VI chaired, on Thursday in the integrated industrial platform "Atlantic Free Zone", in the commune of Amer Saflia (province of Kenitra), the inauguration ceremony of the French PSA group's ecosystem in Morocco, a project that spurs the development of the national automobile sector and mirrors 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 launch of extension works of this latest-generation industrial complex, whose production capacity will be doubled ahead of 2023 - the date set for achieving this goal - and which will generate upon completion 4,000 jobs.
The inauguration ceremony started with the screening of an institutional film highlighting the different stages in the implementation of the PSA group's ecosystem in Morocco, the impact of this project on the national automobile sector and efforts made to ensure its full success.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy , then, delivered a speech in which he stressed that "the infrastructure, the PSA factory and the factories of its subcontractors were carried out under the agreed conditions and within the set deadlines", four years after the signing of the strategic agreement, on June 19, 2015, between the Moroccan State and the PSA group.
Elalamy said the French PSA group invested 3 billion dirhams and plans to invest as much in its future projects in Morocco, noting that the new factory 'PSA Kenitra' was designed to produce both electric and thermal vehicles.
The minister said the vehicles produced in the PSA factory benefit from an integration rate of more than 60% (80% in the long term), that 27 new plants of 10 nationalities have already gained a foothold in Kenitra, and that the R& D center which initially had to employ 1,500 engineers and senior technicians today employs 2,300 employees, 85% of whom are engineers.
PSA purchases of parts manufactured in Morocco reached 700 million euros in 2018, well above expectations, he added, noting that the goal of one billion euros of purchases will be achieved before 2025.
The PSA group's new plant benefits from the momentum taking place in Morocco thanks notably to the high speed rail and the reform of vocational training which helps with ameliorating competitiveness among industrial ecosystems.
PSA executive vice president for the Middle East and North Africa Jean-Christophe Quemard affirmed that Morocco is at the heart of the growth strategy by PSA Group, which is today one of the most successful car manufacturers in the world, noting that "it is in the Kingdom that our Group has chosen to set up its Regional Decision Center, and to develop a Research and Development Center integrated in the PSA Group's global R&D network".
This ceremony was marked by the unveiling the new Peugeot 208, a vehicle produced in the Kenitra factory.
Afterwards, HM the King was greeted by representatives of PSA Group's component manufacturers in the integrated industrial platform "Atlantic Free Zone".
The Sovereign was greeted by Xinglong Mei, Vice President of Chinese Group "CITIC DICASTAL", Hirai Yoshinori, executive vice president of Japanese group ASAHI Glass Co (AGC), Hakim Abdelmoumen, Managing Director of AGC-Induver Automotive, and Rachid Rahmouni, Vice President in charge of North Africa at French group "FAURECIA".
HM the King, then, visited the different workshops of the PSA factory and posed for a souvenir photo with its staff.
The PSA structuring ecosystem in the Kingdom is a new success in the automotive industry. The exports of this sector, which currently employs a total of 189,600 people, doubled between 2013 and 2018, increasing 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.