Global auto parts supplier Varroc Lighting Systems has won 16 million euros ($18.5 million) in funding from the European Bank of Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) to finance its new plant in Morocco.
Located in the "Tangier Automotive City" industrial park, the new 16,000-square-meter manufacturing and product development center will start to produce vehicle headlamps and tail lights this year. It will create 200 new jobs by the end of 2018.
The EBRD loan will enable Varroc Lighting Systems, an offshoot of the Indian-owned Varroc Group, to supply components locally to the Renault and PSA Group vehicle assembly plants in Kenitra, northern Morocco.
Last month, PSA Group announced it intends to double its annual production capacity in Kenitra to 200,000 vehicles in 2020 at a cost of 560 million euros ($647.3 million).
Varroc Morocco, an offshoot of the group's Varroc Lighting Systems division based in Plymouth, Mich., will also export part of its plant output.
“The Morocco facility will support both local Moroccan growth as well as our customers in southern Europe,” said Stephane Vedie, president and CEO of Varroc Lighting Systems.
Meanwhile, Varroc Lighting Systems is continuing to expand across Europe as part of a wider global growth plan. The company announced recently it expects to launch a new 1,500-square-meter product development center for vehicle headlamps and signal lights employing 60 at Krakow, Poland, by the end of this year.
It has also just opened a new 7,000-square-meter production hall to produce smart headlamps at the firm's Rychvald, Czech Republic. The hall, the fifth production unit on site, will turn out vehicle rear lights as well as the smart headlamps with LED and Matrix technologies known as adaptive driving beam.
With the latest line operating, Rychvald will have the capacity to produce 1 million lamps a year, according to the plant management. Varroc operates two other manufacturing sites in the Czech Republic.
Another recent Varroc deal in Europe is a joint venture agreement signed last month with Romanian lighting and electronics specialist ELBA will enable Varroc to vertically integrate electronic parts manufacturing increasingly included in lighting systems today.