The statement comes in response to the French minister of economy, who has been criticizing local manufacturers for taking production out of France.
Rabat – The French Automobile Manufacturers’ Committee (CCFA) has backed the production of French car-makers PSA Group and Renault in Morocco in response to criticism from the French minister of economy.
Earlier this month, French official Bruno Le Maire criticized his country’s automotive sector, calling on France to relocate outsourced production.
“I think the French automotive industry has outsourced too much, it must be able to relocate certain productions,” he said.
In response, CCFA said on May 14 that the PSA and Renault groups, which have Moroccan production units, “remain fully involved in their sites in Morocco.”
In a statement to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), CCFA reassured the kingdom that its official position is that both automotive manufacturers remain fully involved.
“There is no questioning on the part of French manufacturers.”
MAP reported that 36% of PSA’s global production took place in France in 2019 while 18% of Renault’s total production occurred in France in the same year.
In December 2019, Le Maire criticized the companies for producing their best selling vehicles outside France.
The manufacturers’ flagship models—the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio city cars—are no longer produced in France. The Clio 5 is mainly assembled in Turkey and Slovenia while the 208 is produced in Slovakia and Morocco.
Commenting on the outsourcing, Le Maire said, “This development model is a failure.”
“Relocating, losing jobs, re-importing CO2, it’s over and I will no longer give my blank [check] to this type of industrial construction which is bad for our industry and bad for the French. I don’t see why French taxpayers would pay for aid which then translates into relocation and re-imports of CO2,” said the minister.
In April, Renault Maroc announced it would gradually resume industrial activity in its Tangier and Casablanca plants after the firm closed production due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The manufacturer suspended work on March 19 and opted for remote work for employees whose responsibilities do not require physical presence.
PSA considers Morocco a choice destination for production. Earlier this year, the director of the company in the Maghreb region, Yves Peyrot des Gachons, said PSA chooses Morocco because “it is an extremely favorable terrain where we want to establish ourselves as close as possible to the markets.”
PSA Group’s workforce in Morocco numbered 350 in 2017 and was set to reach 2,200 by the end of 2019, in addition to 20,000 indirect jobs as estimated by the company.