Renault is to ink an agreement tomorrow (19 December) to establish an assembly plant in Algeria, although the automaker is remaining tight-lipped as to details of models and staffing.
The signing ceremony – in the capital of Algiers – will coincide with tomorrow’s State visit by President Francois Hollande to Algeria during which he will meet his counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
“We can’t confirm any details other than we are planning to sign with the Algerian government [with] the view of creating an industrial assembly for the development of the local market,” a Renault spokeswoman in Paris told just-auto.
“It is expected to happen tomorrow – this is to coincide with Hollande’s visit to Algeria. The Algerian government is the one in charge of it and we will go along with their requests.”
Speculation has centred on any facility being constructed near the Algerian coastal city of Oran, which could produce around 75,000 cars with any model possibly based around the Renault Clio.
Algeria has extremely close ties to France with Paris being the former colonial power and Renault is eyeing the “enormous potential” of its neighbour lying just across the Mediterranean.
“It [Algeria] is the second largest automobile market in Africa after South Africa,” said the Renault spokeswoman. “The total industry volume for vehicles sold in 2012 at the end of November, was 410,000.
“The market has grown by 50% this year [while] Renault’s volumes have grown by 57% [and] we are the number one brand in Algeria. “We have been in negotiations with the Algerian government for a number of years.”
France’s unions are sure to eye the development in Algeria with keen interest, coming as it does as Renault plans a significant rise in capacity in North Africa at its Tangier, Morocco, plant that produces Dacia models.
The plant is currently making the Dacia Lodgy (compact MPV) and Dokker (light commercial vehicle) models with a capacity of 30 vehicles per hour and 170,000 vehicles a year (phase 1 of the project).
However, the company is planning in 2013 to begin the step up to capacity of 60 vehicles an hour or 350,000 a year in a second phase.