“One of the major axes of our expansion in the Kingdom is the development of our industrial ecosystem”
Mohamed Bachiri, CEO of Renault Group at Morocco

“One of the major axes of our expansion in the Kingdom is the development of our industrial ecosystem”

1 Mohamed BACHIRI 2022
Mohamed Bachiri, CEO of Renault Group at Morocco. Photo: Renault

With Renault Group, we have been present in the Kingdom of Morocco for more than 90 years and we have accompanied the birth of the automotive industry some sixty years ago with Somaca, our plant in Casablanca. Starting in 2005, the automotive industry began its transition with the manufacture of the Dacia brand at Somaca plant. And with the launch of the Renault Tangier plant in 2012, the automotive industry accelerated its development to make Morocco a leading industrial country in the area. Today, with our 2 factories, we have a production capacity of 440,000 vehicles per year, and more than 11% of the vehicles sold by the group worldwide are produced Morocco.

It should be noted that from the beginning of the 2000s, the Kingdom made considerable efforts in the development of its infrastructures, as the port of Tanger Med, road and rail infrastructure, green energy availability with the creation of a wind farms and industrial zones to accommodate companies and suppliers.

It is undeniably thanks to the vision of His Majesty King Mohamed VI to develop industry in Morocco, supported by the industrial acceleration plan launched in 2014 which has enabled the Kingdom to record very good achievements. For more than 10 years, the Renault ecosystem has been developing, relying on two pillars which are Casablanca and Tangier plants, and contributing in the positioning of Morocco as a new automotive country. Today, we are proud to see that the automotive sector has become since 2014 the leading export sector in the Kingdom.

One of the major axes of our expansion in the Kingdom is the development of our industrial ecosystem to support our growth. In 2016, the Group made a commitment to develop its ecosystem of suppliers and to achieve two key objectives by 2023: an integration rate of 65% and an annual turnover of parts and components of 1.5 billion euros at least. Today, we have reached 64% of local integration rate and 1.3 billion turnover. This first ecosystem has already tripled the number of rank 1 suppliers established in the Kingdom, from 26 to 76. A whole industry is committed to working alongside us.

Regarding the future development, the signing of a new phase of the Renault ecosystem in July 2021 which aims to attend 80% of local integration and a target of 3 billion Euros in sales over time is a new commitment that will contribute to the growth of the ecosystem, the attraction of new suppliers and the development of new technologies, particularly in the Tangier region.

Today, the automotive industry is in the heart of the national economy and Morocco is a major industrial platform for the Group, which reinforces the positioning of the Moroccan automotive industry and the "made in Morocco" at the regional and international scale. we are confident that the Moroccan automotive industry will continue to develop, and the challenge is to sustain this development by being competitive and continuing to produce vehicles at the highest level of quality.

E-vehicles and carbon neutrality

Renault Group chooses to make a strong contribution by orienting its strategy with strong ambitions in terms of the quality and durability of its products and accelerate the ecological transition, and consequently the reduction of its carbon emissions. The Group's technological expertise enables it to offer more electric motorization, shared mobility, but also a life cycle management for the vehicle and its components. 

The Group was the first car manufacturer to set a public and quantified target for reducing its carbon footprint. At the end of 2020, we reduced our carbon footprint by an average of 20% compared to 2010 per vehicle sold. Renault Group aims achieving carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050 over the entire life cycle of its vehicles, all brands and activities combined. For example: the Group aims to halve the CO2 emissions of its sites worldwide by 2030. At the local level, we are perfectly aligned with the Group's objectives, particularly with the Tangier plant, which was the first automobile production site in the world to move towards "zero carbon and zero emissions". The Renault plant in Tangier stands out for its energy efficiency that respects the environment and is unrivaled in the automotive industry.

The Tangier plant uses renewable and carbon-free energy sources to meet its thermal and electrical energy needs. Designed to be a "zero CO2 emission" with an innovative biomass and energy supplied from the region's wind farm, and a "zero discharge of industrial effluent" with a closed-loop wastewater treatment process.

It is important to remember that Morocco is committed to the decarbonization of its industry with the objective of providing the industrial areas of the country with renewable energy projects. The Ministry of Industry and Trade with its partners, such as Renault Group Morocco and its ecosystem, are aligned on the development of a decarbonized industry by capitalizing on the proactive energy strategy of the Kingdom. An approach that also responds to the evolution of European standards with the introduction of a carbon tax on imports of industrial products.

Electric vehicles in Morocco

Electric mobility comes with many challenges. The main obstacle is the initial cost of the investment: electric vehicles are significantly more expensive to purchase than thermal vehicles as there are no governmental incentives. The second obstacle is the availability of public EV charging infrastructure, which is insufficient, especially in urban areas.

Today, we agree that the cost of EVs is becoming more and more competitive, which is an encouraging point, especially if it goes with the development of private investment. In Morocco, Renault Group is the first manufacturer to have introduced the sale of Electric Vehicles with the launch of Twizy in 2013, Zoe and Kangoo in 2015.

We are confident that the Moroccan market is starting to shift, even slightly and that we will see the growth of electrified vehicles demand and sales. The very imminent arrival of Dacia Spring at the end of the year and Renault brand vehicles starting 2023 will support the energy transition of the Moroccan automotive market as the two brands of the group hold 40% market share (Dacia, N°1 et Renault N°2). For the launch of 100% electric vehicles, efficient charging solutions are being studied for our future customers. We are also working with all automotive market partners to encourage electric mobility in Morocco and find opportunities for incentives to purchase electric vehicles.

Regional integration

The annual African automotive market is around 1 million new vehicles and 3 million used cars in the informal sector. To have an element of comparison, Africa and China have a total of 1 billion inhabitants while China represents 20 million new vehicles sold annually. Among the 54 African countries, 4 countries represent 80% of new vehicle volumes on the market, all brands combined: South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria. These markets are also complementary industrial bases. In Morocco, more than elsewhere, our factories are key players as they export up to 84% (2021) of their production to European countries, the Mediterranean region and to Africa.

The conversion of the second-hand market – massive in sub-Saharan Africa – into the new vehicle market, is an essential point for the development of the automotive industry on the continent. A conversion that can open opportunities such as assembly units for local markets. In Nigeria, for example, our vehicles are assembled by the local importer to meet the country's demand.

Expertise in the auto industry

In Morocco, 15 years ago, there was limited knowledge of automotive skills linked to the activity of our factory in Casablanca, Somaca, and a few suppliers. But with the launch of the Renault plant in Tangier and the rise of our ecosystem, we have set up several training structures, which also profits our suppliers, in order to meet the needs and standards of the automotive sector and prepare qualified human resources:

  • IFMIA of Tangier, an institution resulting from a partnership with the Moroccan authorities, to prepare qualified human resources in manufacturing, supply chain and quality. The institute trains operators, technicians and managers of the Group's factories as well as suppliers. More than 2,6 million of hours of training have being given since its opening in 2011.
  •  Renault Academy, created in 2007, and whose mission is to develop commercial, technical, human and behavioral skills for the entire Moroccan network of the Renault and Dacia brands.
  •  Management school for Group managers, created in 2015, this school objective is to develop and upgrade managerial skills through partnerships signed with internationally renowned schools (Ecole Centrale de Casablanca, EM Lyon, etc.).

The expertise is expanding, given that the automobile is today a key sector of industry in Morocco. The automotive industry is evolving as well as new and critical professions requiring expertise: engineers of different specialties - mechanics, electronics, mechatronics, quality, software engineering, IT, industrial engineering, automation, robotics, etc. Today, Renault Group Morocco today is the main employer in the automotive sector in the kingdom and counts more than 12,000 employees.

Article published in AutoRevista 2.373

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