Atalayar talks to Adil Zaidi, president of the Automotive Federation, about the booming automotive sector in the North African country

Marruecos: crecimiento exponencial de la industria del automóvil


Morocco is showing great development in its automotive industry. The Moroccan kingdom is establishing itself as a regional benchmark in the automotive sector and Atalayar spoke to Adil Zaidi, president of the Automotive Federation, about this great performance of the Moroccan kingdom that allows it to be highly competitive. 

Mr. Adil Zaidi, president of the Automotive Federation, we have attended an interesting Industry Day in Casablanca, and there is no doubt that the automotive industry is a very powerful industry in Morocco. 

It is indeed a day of great dimension that started with a very important event, a royal charter that has underlined the importance of the Moroccan industry in general and has given a roadmap for the coming years. Within the industry, the automobile sector is a very important sector which, in the last 10 years, has been showing exponential growth in results.


Today, when we talk about the automotive industry, we are talking about 10,000 million euros in exports, the leading export sector until 2021. Today, with the growth of phosphate prices, we are talking about a difference of 5 billion euros. The automotive sector in Morocco is important in the industry and it is a sector that exceeds 200,000 million euros per year, with 200,000 people working. Today we have three manufacturers here in Morocco, two very big ones like Renault and Stellantis and a smaller one that has just started, which is a Moroccan brand called Neo, which we wish a very optimistic growth and follow-up.

The automotive sector today is not only two companies that are producing, but it is a whole ecosystem and a whole industrial organisation that leads tier 1 and 2 suppliers to be installed in order to have the best possible cost competitiveness. Today, the Moroccan platform, which is ranked 23rd in the world, which manufactures 526,000 cars a year and hopes to reach 1,000,000 by 2025 and enter the top 20 in the world, allows us to develop not only the production of cars, but also the fact that here in Morocco there are more than 8,000 engineers working to develop the different parts in the automotive world.  

In addition, something that may be important is that, although in Europe, for example, the automotive world is experiencing a 22% drop in its market, Morocco's sales of car parts have grown by 26%. This means that Morocco is now providing a product that is at the level of what the international consumer, and particularly the European consumer, is looking for. In other words, a good product at a good price, taking into account what is happening around the world with inflation. What we also have to add is that the fact that everything is in turn provides important opportunities to develop other industries, other activities, because the automobile industry indirectly attracts many activities. And activities that seem to be quite profitable, since we now have 250 international companies that have set up in Morocco and that are developing not only for the Moroccan market, but also to export all over the world. 

What are the three key points you would tell a foreign investor to come to Morocco to produce either cars or car parts? 

Well, there are three points. First, Morocco's cost competitiveness is very good, that is, when you come to Morocco to produce, there is a potential saving of up to 20%. Second, a market that is opening up, because Morocco, today, is not only in the Moroccan market, but it can go to Europe, to the United States, to America and now to the rest of the European and African continent, because Morocco has agreements without customs, without customs duties with 53 countries, and now it is going to reach 92 countries with the Africa agreement. This is the second point, the most important, the third point is that Morocco today is imposing itself in terms of competence, that is, know-how and personnel with a very high level of training, and the last point is that Morocco has developed a renewable energy potential for everything that is called decarbonisation and the rights of entry of certain countries between now and 2030, the energy mix will be at 32% and the Moroccan product will be very interesting in terms of the decarbonisation note.


How do you see the situation we are experiencing in Europe, which is the shift from combustion cars to electric cars? 

This is a political decision. Europe has taken this decision, so, as we are in a very close relationship with Europe, we will also have to follow this change in one way or another. In any case, the customer will be right, i.e. he will be able to choose between the combustion engine and the electric motor. The electric motor is a total revolution in terms of industry, it is not the same industry, it has to be said that the car industry, as it was considered, is different from the electric car industry. The philosophy is different, the car is a product where people take ownership of the car. There is a very particular relationship with the car, it is something very different, synonymous with freedom, synonymous with transport, synonymous with many things that made it a kind of economy and a very particular concept.

As for the electric car, we will see whether it is the electric part or the car part that will dominate, that is, whether it is a car with digital applications, a digital application with four wheels that go and whether the digital part will dominate. But we are very well prepared for this. There are trials to produce the first electric cars here in Morocco soon, but before that, apart from Renault, Stellantis has also announced a local production of electric cars. The electric car is easier to produce than the thermal car, but the digital complementary part will be studied and we will see how it can be developed. In any case, there will be so many choices of technology that I think we will see in a few years, but we will be ready, what we will lack is only the battery electric motor technology and Morocco is also preparing to produce batteries because we have materials, we have access to the niche, it is possible that it will be sodium, depending on the technology that will be favoured.