Tier-one automotive components manufacturer Ficosa International has established its first production unit in Africa with the launch of an electronic rear view mirrors plant in Morocco.
Ficosa, based at Viladecavalls, Barcelona in Spain, invested €50m to set up the new 12,000m2 facility in the Technopolis Free Zone of Rabat. The plant will become the group’s centre of excellence for automobile camera technology.
The company, in partnership with its new Japanese majority shareholder Panasonic, is already committed to mass producing the camera-aided electronic rear-view mirrors which offer enhanced visibility.
With a 700-strong workforce, the new facility will also turn out electrical cable sets and products for the local market including regular rear-view mirrors, shifter systems and washer systems, said Ficosa.
The new Rabat operation, which offers the future option of further expansion to 17,000m2, is expected to post an annual turnover of €150m by 2022.
“At Ficosa, we are strongly committed to this facility, having made (the site) our ‘Centre of Excellence in Cameras’.
“This operation will be a strategic part of the group, bolstering the Viladecavalls Technology Centre in Spain, the company’s global hub for new technologies in vision, connectivity, safety and efficiency for connected and driverless vehicles and e-mobility,” Ficosa chief executive officer Javier Pujol said at the plant’s inauguration earlier this year.
Panasonic, which has held a minority stake in Ficosa since 2015, last year upped its holding to 69%. The merger has integrated Ficosa’s car mirror know-how with Panasonic’s camera and liquid crystal display technologies, a move that has already won recognition from Toyota which is adopting the electronic rear-view mirror.
Today, Ficosa operates globally with more than 10,500 employees at plants, commercial offices and R&D centres in 19 countries across Europe, North and South America, Asia and now in Africa. In 2017, the group, which today forms a separate division of Panasonic, reported record annual sales worth almost €1.21 billion.