Steering systems specialist Nexteer has opened its first African plant in Kenitra, Morocco.
This new facility will manufacture Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems for Group PSA, as well as Driveline systems for FCA, Groupe PSA and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The company expects to hire around 500 people at the Kenitra 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, Nexteer Automotive. "As Nexteer's first plant in Africa, this facility will enable us to further support customer needs for our industry-leading motion control solutions across Africa and Europe."
The systems produced at the Kenitra plant for Groupe PSA will include Single Pinion EPS systems – Nexteer's premium steering system that is currently featured in A-C segment vehicles for Nexteer customers like BMW and Groupe PSA. The Driveline systems that will be produced at this plant will include halfshafts for new generations of some of the bestselling models from FCA, Groupe PSA and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Construction on the Kenitra facility began in Q1 2018 and took only nine months. The facility is now being filled with machines and gearing up for the start of production in September of this year.
Herve Boyer, President of Europe, Middle East, Africa & South America, Nexteer Automotive, said: "We received great support from the Moroccan authorities with this crucial investment. The pro-investment approach towards starting new businesses in this region is extremely valuable, and we want to express our great appreciation to the Moroccan government for enabling us to enter this great market in such a short lead time."
Moroccan Minister of Industry, Mr. Moulay Hafid Elalamy, said: "A leading manufacturer of transmission and steering systems has joined the worldwide leading automotive suppliers based in Morocco. With this new establishment, a new highly technological craft is being developed in the Kingdom and hence contributes to the integration of the value chain and the ascent of the Moroccan automotive industry".
Mr Elalamy added: "The attractiveness and competitiveness of the Moroccan automotive platform is reinforced by the completion of industrial projects conducted by renowned suppliers such as Nexteer".
As the Kenitra plant will continue to grow its operations and programs in the upcoming years, Nexteer Automotive Morocco says it is actively searching for new candidates – specifically in the fields of quality manufacturing, product engineering, machine operations, finance, HR, logistics and IT. Interested candidates should apply to Nexteer by visiting www.nexteer.com/careers.