Rabat – Following the lead of French car manufacturers Renault and Peugeot, the Chinese automotive manufacturer BYD, “Build Your Dreams,” becomes the third automaker to establish a major automoble manufacturing presence in Morocco. The announcement came from the chairman of BYD while in Rabat on Saturday December 9.
BYD Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, and trucks has significant investment backing by the American venture capital billionaire Warren Buffett through Berkshire Hathaway.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the royal palace in Casablanca in the presence of King Mohammed VI and BYD’s chairman, Wang Chuanfu.
The Chinese leader in battery-powered vehicles now plans to open a factory in the future Mohammed VI Tangier Tech City, an industrial city led by the Chinese group Haite as part of a joint investment project between Morocco and China.
According to the project directors, the new plant, which will cover a 50-hectare site and create nearly 2,500 jobs through the production of electric cars, buses and trucks as well as electric trains. However, no information was provided on the amount of investment planned by the company in Morocco, nor an exact date for the launch of the project.
“It’s a feast day for Morocco, which is moving toward sustainable mobility across many transportation sectors in partnership with the world leader in electric vehicles,” said the Minister of Industry, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony in Rabat.
As for BYD’s CEO, he hopes to “benefit from Morocco’s location as a gateway to Europe and the African market,” adding that the first phase would produce passenger vehicles.
Morocco has been pursuing an ambitious industrialization strategy, particularly around Tangier, a city of one million inhabitants, which has become home to several industrial parks related to automotive, information technology, and aeronautical industries. Melloussa, southeast of Tangier, is home to Africa’s largest automotive plant.
The kingdom is also a major player in sustainable development at the regional level, due to its proactive strategy in “green” energies. Morocco is planning to rely on renewable energy resources for 52 percent of its energy needs by 2030.