Monaco-based auto parts supplier Mecaplast Group has joined a stream of suppliers heading for Morocco as it plans to launch a car component injection molding plant at Kenitra in 2017.
The firm is to invest up to 30 million euros ($33.4 million) to construct a 10,000-square-meter Moroccan unit to turn out molded plastic parts for a leading customer, Peugeot Citroën PSA.
The French car manufacturer plans to establish an assembly plant at Kenitra, about 25 miles north of the Moroccan capital Rabat, in 2019 with an initial output of 200,000 cars a year. Construction work on the 557 million euro ($620.9 million) facility is set to begin late this year and production should start by the end of 2017.
Mecaplast was among a number of automotive suppliers whose executives signed agreements for local development projects in July at the official launch of Morocco's new investment reform plan. Other firms represented included seating supplier Lear Corp. and South Korean cable harness maker Yura Corp.
The Kenitra plant is a major investment for Mecaplast, and when up and running will represent around 5 percent of the company's total business. Other new facilities have generally accounted for around 3 percent of its activities.
Mecaplast is also in talks to supply another France based automotive giant, Renault, with plastic car components at its vehicle factory in Tangier, Morocco, from the same new facility in Kenitra. The supplier predicts its new site will generate annual sales worth 30 million euros ($33.4 million) by 2020, according to its CEO Pierre Boulet.
Boulet was recently highlighting wider opportunities for component suppliers operating in Morocco with major customers. He was quoted as suggesting those firms would be favored, for example by Peugeot, to supply parts to its vehicle assembly plant at Vigo in north western Spain.
Mecaplast has further plans for its 50,000-square-meter Moroccan industrial site. These include the installation of a 2,000-square-meter paint shop and the eventual overall employment of up to 300 workers at Kenitra.
Other major automotive expansion projects planned for Morocco include a 50 million euro ($55.7 million) plant for windscreen wiper and lighting parts by Valeo, and a seats related plan from Faurecia SA. Delphi is reported to want to expand its site doubling the workforce on site.
Mecaplast has continued to expand, boosted by its new majority shareholder, the United Kingdom-based private investment firm Equistone Partners Europe. Today, the firm has 28 plants and six technical centers in 18 countries and recorded 734 million euros ($818 million) in sales in 2015.