Pierre Boulet, CEO of Mecaplast
Monaco-based auto parts producer Mecaplast has joined a stream of suppliers heading for Morocco as it plans to launch a car component injection moulding plant at Kenitra in 2017.
The firm is to invest up to €30m to construct a 10,000 square metre Moroccan unit to turn out moulded plastic parts for a leading customer, Peugeot Citro?n PSA.
The French car manufacturer plans to establish an assembly plant at Kenitra, 40km north of the Moroccan capital Rabat, in 2019 with an initial output of 200,000 cars a year. Construction work on the €557m 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 Lear Automotive and South Korean cable harness maker Yura Corporation.
The Kenitra plant is a major investment for Mecaplast and when up and running will represent around 5% of the company’s total business. Other new facilities have generally accounted for around 3% 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. The supplier predicts its new Kenitra moulding facility will generate annual sales worth €30m by 2020, according to its CEO Pierre Boulet.
He was recently highlighting wider opportunities for component suppliers operating in Morocco with major customers. He was quoted as suggesting those firms would be favoured, for example by Peugeot Citro?n PSA to supply parts to its vehicle assembly plant at Vigo in north western Spain.
Mecaplast has further plans for its 50,000 square metre Moroccan industrial site. These include the installation of a 2,000 square metre automotive paint shop and the eventual overall employment of up to 300 workers at Kenitra.
Other major automotive expansion projects planned for Morocco include a €50m scheme for windscreen wiper and lighting parts by Valeo, and a seats related plan from Faurecia. 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 UK-based private investment firm Equistone Partners Europe. Today, the firm has 28 plants and six technical centres in 18 countries and recorded €734m turnover in 2015.