Chinese-owned, US-based company Nexteer Automotive has inaugurated its first factory in Africa in Kenitra, Morocco.
Rabat – The new facility will manufacture automobile parts including Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems for Groupe PSA (formerly PSA Peugeot Citroen). The facility will also manufacture Driveline systems for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Groupe PSA and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
Construction of the 10,000 m2 Kenitra facility began in the first quarter of 2018. The facility is now gearing up for the start of production in September. Nexteer Automotive expects to hire 500 people for the plant by 2020.
“Nexteer’s new Morocco plant is another milestone in our ongoing plan for global footprint diversification and expansion in regions strategically important to our key customers,” said Tao Liu, Global Chief Operating Officer of Nexteer Automotive, in a press release.
Nexteer is a multi-billion dollar global steering and driveline business. The Kenitra facility is Nexteer’s 27th plant in the world, and its first on the African continent.
The opening of the Nexteer plant strengthens Morocco’s competitiveness in the automobile industry and Kenitra’s position as a hub for the sector. Groupe PSA inaugurated its car factory site in Kenitra on June 20. It has a production capacity of 100 000 vehicles per year.
At the inauguration of the new Nexteer plant, the Moroccan Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy noted the facility “contributes to the integration of the value chain and the ascent of the Moroccan automotive industry.”
Morocco is the largest automobile producer in Africa, with a production capacity of over 700,000 vehicles per year.