King Mohammed VIs attendance at the Casablanca ceremony to announce 26 major supplier and OEM deals attests to the increasing importance of manufacturing in Morocco

King Mohammed VI's attendance at the Casablanca ceremony to announce 26 major supplier and OEM deals attests to the increasing importance of manufacturing in Morocco

Morocco has inked a huge raft of automotive deals with international OEMS and suppliers worth around US$1.5bn and creating more than 11,500 jobs.

The major announcement – presided over by King Mohammed VI in Casablanca – is further proof of the Maghrebian country's attraction for overseas manufacturers and follows hot on the heels of BYD's unveiling of plans to construct an initial 15km SkyRail as part of a transportation offer.

A total of 26 significant projects were revealed in the Royal Palace of Casablanca as part of Morocco's Industrial Acceleration Plan, with hundreds of guests and senior politicians attesting to the importance of the event.

Specifically, six investments were signed by Renault Maroc, featuring agreements with: Filter Systems Maroc; Hands; Sealynx Automotive Morocco; GMD Métal; Eurostyle Systems Tanger and Varroc.

A further tranche related to seven Peugeot Africa and Middle East deals including those with: Dicastal; Nexteer, MTA, Faurecia Maroc, Aotecar, Plastic Omnium and Pro Maghreb.

Peugeot also revealed six ecological investments with JTEKT, Steep Plastique Maroc, Lear Automotive Morocco, SSC Tanger, Ficosa International Maroc and Daedong System Morocco.

Valeo outlined a contract with Proinsur, while five wiring and connector deals were inked with TE Connectivity, SEWS, Fujikura Maroc and Yazaki Morocco Meknès.

"The Industrial Acceleration Plan and the ecological approach are real levers of industrial acceleration action," said Moroccan Industry Minister, Moulay Hafid Elalamy at the Casablanca ceremony, noting the projects were bringing new automotive specialisation to the country.

"The launch of these investments will involve production of aluminium wheels, dashboards, bumpers, seats and electromechanical gearboxes."

Moroccan government officials added Renault was developing a global supply system from the North African country with machined parts worth around EUR1bn per year and with a localisation content of 55%.

"The automotive industry fully embodies the tangible result of the Kingdom's industrial strategy," added a statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Culture and Communication. "It has become deep-rooted and its footprint extends more every day."

As well as the King being present at the announcment, the ceremony was attended by the head of the government and MPs, president of the Chamber of Advisors, advisors to the Monarch and the diplomatic corps.

BYD's agreement, announced earlier this week, establishes a broad cooperation to introduce a 15km line, with a possible extension to more than 70km, of the BYD SkyRail, as well as other transportation solutions as part of the its zero emission energy ecosystem featuring production, storage and usage of renewable energy.

The BYD SkyRail is an elevated straddle monorail system to tackle the issue of urban traffic congestion. Electric commercial vehicles are also being discussed as part of the agreement.

It establishes BYD introduce Chinese technical, production and quality standards in Morocco. Morocco will then promote the establishment and development of renewable energy industry standards in neighbouring countries.

With the agreement, BYD will also build a factory in Morocco to produce battery-powered vehicles in the northern city of Tangier, which is expected to employ 2,500 people.

The factory is planned in an area of 50 hectares (0.5 sq km) in the new Mohamed VI Tangier Tech City, as part of a project between China and Morocco to set up a large scale industrial hub in the north of the country.

The US$1bn industrial park aims to host hundreds of Chinese companies in numerous industries, including auto manufacturing, aerospace, aviation spare parts, electronic information, textiles and machinery manufacturing.