We begin this 4-part interview with the automotive industry. The growth of the automotive platform, like everywhere else in the world, has been hampered by the pandemic. Today she resumes her ambitions. The integration rate increases; Auto exports should reach 100 billion DH this year (the target was set for 2020 but the pandemic prevented that) and… 200 billion in 2025. In the first 4 months of this year, Morocco has overtaken Turkey to become the largest non-European car Vendors in the EU market in terms of volume.
Ryad Mezzour hopes to increase production capacity to one million cars a year. He also knows that electric vehicles are the future and that Morocco must make the choice.
Médias24: Are you in contact with other car manufacturers to set up in Morocco? A question you get asked regularly…
Ryad Mezzour: The answer is yes.
However, it is important to understand the general context. The European market, our most important export market, is declining. Most European-facing capacities are underutilized, except of course ours.
The fact is that mobility in Europe is changing. The car has become a means of transportation rather than an object of social standing. Habits and the relationship between households and cars are changing fundamentally. Look at the young people, they are less and less interested in buying and more and more in renting.
Therefore, the prospects for this market are not prospects of increasing volume but of transformation. Hence the need to move towards electromobility.
So, yes, we are talking to manufacturers who are looking for competitiveness, manufacturers who are looking for access to these markets in favorable global conditions. But most are now overcapacity.
– That means we won’t have a third master builder any time soon. There is no visibility.
-Discussions are ongoing with various manufacturers to locate in Morocco to increase competitiveness or for possible capacity expansions in the future.
Installed capacity in Morocco: 1 million cars in 2025
– It also means that Morocco will remain at the current installed capacity.
-I think that the target of 1 million vehicles per year installed production capacity in Morocco by 2025 is achievable.
-Let’s look at the next steps, according to which the automotive industry in Morocco should develop in the medium term. How will the integration rate develop?
– We achieved a rate of 64% last June. The goal is to reach 80% in the next 3 to 4 years.
– So there will only be 20% left, which is the material that we don’t have in Morocco.
We are working on this future increase to 80%, most projects are being identified to achieve this goal. Investors are identified, contacts are in progress, case studies are being conducted, some have started, it is an ongoing process.
-So in 3 to 4 years 80% integration rate. By then we will start injecting Moroccan batteries.
-It is the goal.
-And therefore it will allow us to maintain the integration rate of 80% also in the electrical field…
-And maybe more.
A car consists of 2,300 to 2,400 parts, a third of which are in the engine.
When it comes to engine parts, we’re not very integrated yet. Of course we assemble engines, but not all.
Therefore, producing batteries in a gigafactory will maintain and improve the integration rate.
That doesn’t prevent us from continuing to integrate engine parts, because there are very important markets for internal combustion engines and for hybrids.
– What will the car production and export figures be at the end of 2022?
-In the first 4 months, 86,000 cars were exported, of which 81,492 to Europe. Extrapolated, I estimate that we had to produce 120,000 to 130,000 vehicles in the same period, despite the semiconductor crisis.
The European market is our main market, but Morocco exports automobiles to a total of 75 countries.
Moroccan production is expected to be between 420,000 and 430,000 vehicles by the end of the year. The installed production capacity is 700,000 cars per year.
We bring new models back to Morocco. Thanks to this and assuming that demand increases, we should reach the milestone of 600,000 cars produced, of which 500,000 are exported. Our factories are struggling to be the most competitive at their parent company level, attracting projects and doing them here. Morocco already produces the best selling vehicle in Europe, the Sandero, and the second best selling vehicle in Europe, the 208.
And we’re still struggling to attract more volume-boosting vehicles to our target markets.
In 2022, Morocco will be the first external car supplier, overtaking Turkey
-Let’s talk about the competition in this big market in Europe…
– In 2022, Morocco became the leading third-party supplier of new cars in the EU in the first 4 months.
The country, after a steady rise in recent years (4thth 2019, 3rdth 2020 and 2ndth in 2021).
Turkey is now relegated to 2nd placeth Rank after taking first place. In terms of value, it is also ahead of Morocco with a difference of only 30 million euros.
In our main market, Europe, we are ahead of countries like Japan, China and South Korea, which have more or less long automotive traditions.
– Will the production capacity eventually increase to 1 million units?
– That is definitely our goal!
The target of MAD 100 billion in auto exports is achievable this year
– An increase in production would inevitably lead to an increase in exports…
-We had set this psychological target of 100 billion DH for export. We got 52 billion on the 1stah Semester. So the 100 billion target is likely to be reached before the end of this year.
-To make a car you need imports. Can one say that in addition to this dynamic increase in sales, the Moroccan share of passenger cars is becoming increasingly important as the integration rate increases? We increase the exported volume and at the same time the local share of this volume. Logically, we win on both counts.
But a distinction must be made between integration rate and added value.
The last time we did the calculations, in 2021, the added value was about 40% of the total production. This calculation is repeated every year.
64% integration rate, what does that mean? This means that 64% of the parts that make up the vehicle are produced in Morocco. But in these rooms the integration rate is not 100%.
Within 5 years we hope to exceed 200 billion in car exports
– We should therefore reach 100 billion dirham exports by the end of 2022. And when will we reach 150 billion?
– In the model we have designed, we hope to exceed 200 billion dirhams in exports within 5 years.
– There will inevitably be an electricity component in these future figures, right?
-Yes, we already do electric. Not a hybrid yet, but electric yes.
In the electric sector, the current capacity is 40,000 units in Kenitra, with a doubling of this capacity in two brands, Citroën and Opel, underway. These are vehicles developed in Morocco.
– Logically, Renault should get started…
– Logical, yes.
– How do you think the production of electric cars will develop in Morocco?
-Normally, of the one million capacity that we should aim for, at least a third should be electric or hybrid.