Morocco is set to launch a 100% Made in Morocco car brand that would be available on the local market at an average price of MAD 170,000 ($15,000/ PKR 34.03 lac), as revealed by the country’s Trade and Industry Minister, Ryad Mezzour. The budget-friendly cars will be sold under the brand name “Neo.”
Although images are not yet available, the minister informed that the vehicle could go on sale in 2023. Mezzour said that the vehicle “has already passed all the tests successfully and will be offered to Moroccan customers with competitive prices.” He went on to add that the Moroccan brand is in the process of being approved by the competent authorities.
He said the ministry is working alongside Moroccan investors to increase the “integration rate so that the parts are also mainly Moroccans.” The minister said:
“For the moment, the Neo car brand will be intended for the local market, but we are confident and we will support and do the best we can so that this operator has an international dimension.”
Morocco has succeeded in building a solid reputation in the automotive industry as a leading exporter to Europe & the African market in recent years. As such, the automotive sector has become Morocco’s largest among exports, ahead of the mining sector, accounting for 29% of the country’s total exports. Morocco’s automotive industry produces more than 700,000 cars annually while generating over 180,000 jobs. Thus, the country has realized 72.2 billion dirhams through profits and the export of its products to over 74 countries.
Related: NamX HUV Concept of Morocco with Swappable Hydrogen Capsules
The flourishing automotive industry of Morocco reflects a strong base of skilled labor. The minister Mezzour pointed out that the country is home to 10,000 car design engineers working for world-class brands from Germany, Britain, France, and North America.
The kingdom now has over 183 industrial units distributed between Tangier (43%), Casablanca (39%), and Kenitra (7%). Morocco has provided high-quality infrastructure and two industrial platforms have been granted free zone status for vehicle manufacturing, namely the Cite de l’Automobile in Tangier and the Cite de l’Automobile in Kenitra. It has also implemented an innovative training strategy to address market human resource needs by creating three training institutes for the automotive industry (IFMIA).
Related: How Morocco Become a Leading Automobile Production Hub
According to the Economist and Director of the Government Work Observatory Mohammed Jadri:
“Morocco produces more than 700,000 vehicles annually, with a value-added exceeding 60%. The challenge for the next few years is to produce one million vehicles with an integration rate of 80% of Moroccan value added by 2025. Morocco is very proud to occupy the third place in the world in terms of competitiveness after China and India.”
Morocco ranks second in terms of improving industrialization in Africa according to a recent report entitled “African Industrialization Index 2022” published by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). According to the report, Morocco is one of the strongest manufacturing economies in Africa, registering a constant evolution in all components of the index since 2010. The report states that the Moroccan government has prioritized industrial development, particularly in the automotive sector.
While Morocco is currently a go-to destination for car manufacturers looking to slash production costs while targeting European customers. However, maintaining its leading position in the industry does not come without challenges. European Union, the largest client of Morocco’s car production, is set to ban the usage of vehicles with combustible engines by 2035. To keep its prime market, Morocco would have to transition to electric car manufacturing, which is also among the top agendas of the industry ministry.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com