French automotive parts supplier Novares Group SA has opened its first production plant in North Africa, in Kenitra, in northern Morocco.
The move is part of Novares’ global expansion strategy, which has seen the company opening new plants in Mexico and Romania as well as committing to a €50m investment in advanced technologies over the past year.
The former Mecaplast-Key Plastics which rebranded as Novares last September, said the new factory in Kenitra is 15 km away from a newly-opened PSA facility in the region and close to the Renault production plant in Tangier.
The 10,700 square-metre facility produces complete solutions for automotive customers using plastic injection and clear coat-techniques.
Equipped with a painting zone and a clear coat application line, the facility manufactures engine components such as air filters and acoustic covers, along with exterior parts such as pillars, mudguards, roof bars and under covers and interior parts such as instrument panels components.
The unit currently has 70 employees but the figure is set to increase to 140 in 2019, and up to a total of 225 employees by 2020.
The targeted turnover of this Moroccan subsidiary will represent approximately 3% of the Novares global turnover, which stood at €1.2bn in 2016.
Novares did not disclose the investment size in the new plant but said it received funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is actively supporting the automotive sector in Morocco.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on 18 Sept, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the Moroccan minister of industry, commerce, investment and the digital economy, said the new plant contributed to the development of the automotive plastic industry as it involved “a complete chain, from plastic injection to the delivery of the finished product.”
“With this third plant opening in a year, we affirm our growth strategy and expansion ambition, because we believe global proximity is what our customers request,” said Pierre Boulet, CEO of Novares.