MOROCCO – Japanese automotive parts manufacturer JTEKT Corporation opened a new plant in Tangier Automotive City on October this year.

The new production site would focus on the production of steering systems and is estimated to be worth US$22.6 million (MAD 220 million) and covers an area of 11,300 square meters.

State Secretary to the Minister of Industry Othman El Ferdaous said during the plant’s inauguration that the JTEKT group plant has created 90 jobs in the automotive industry and spare parts sector in Morocco.

“The factory is not only dedicated to the manufacture of automotive plants but also a school for Moroccan workers, which Japanese investors consider highly competent and in line with technological developments,” El Ferdaous added.

The executive director of JTEKT, Hirofumi Matsuoka said that the new plant is JTEKT’s “first industrial site on the African continent.”

He also revealed that the group had ambitions to expand further in order to become the leader in Africa in terms of steering systems production.

According to Matsuoka, the factory is equipped with the latest technologies.

The executive director said that PSA Group which Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall car brands is the largest customer for JTEKT in Morocco.

Ambassador of Japan to Morocco Takuji Hantani attended the inauguration event.

JTEKT’s plant is expected to start production in 2020 and aims to produce 300,000 units in its first year.

With over 45,600 employees, the Japanese manufacturer has more than 136 subsidiaries in 27 countries around the world and had a turnover of US$12.13 billion (€11 billion) in 2017.

The group’s determination to put its new Africa-based plant in Morocco reflects the country’s potential as a promising market for the automotive industry.

The industry is one of the pillars for Morocco’s economy as it creates more jobs than other sectors.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that between 2016 and 2018, the industry created 116,611 jobs, representing 28.8% of all new jobs in the time period.

The JTEKT plant in Tangier is another testimony of Morocco’s rising position as a promising market for the automotive industry.