WASHINGTON DC– Morocco has overtaken South Africa as the continent’s automotive hub and is soon expected to produce more cars a year than Italy, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal published here Sunday.
The kingdom has also become a major auto parts supplier for European auto factories, including Ford Motor’s high-tech plant in Valencia, Spain, which imports car seats, interiors, wiring and other components from Morocco, the newspaper said.
Renault, which has more than 40 per cent market share in the region, has built two assembly plants in Morocco in the past five years producing more than 200,000 cars a year, while another major French automaker, Peugeot, is building a plant in Morocco which is set to come onstream this year, it added.
Furthermore, some of the largest car makers have been transforming North Africa into the world’s newest car-manufacturing cluster, the newspaper said, noting that Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot, Hyundai Motor and Toyota Motor Corp have invested billions in Africa in recent years, drawn by growth prospects on the continent.
While new-car sales in the United States, China and Europe are levelling off after a bumper decade, the Middle East and Africa are expected to have 90 million vehicles on the road by 2040, up from 59 million currently, according to forecasts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK