Chinese BYD: the third car manufacturer to select Morocco after Renault and PSA
Since PSA has officially announced its installation in Morocco, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, promises whenever he has the opportunity that a third car manufacturer would promptly follow in the footsteps of the French manufacturer and that negotiations are under way in that respect. Consequently, there has been much speculation on the arrival of this other big industrialist. The names of Volkswagen, then Ford and Fiat, have been heard repeatedly, but nothing however materialized.
And as promises are made to be kept, today the Chinese BYD – for “Build Your Dreams” – the global leader in electric vehicles, selected Morocco following the lead of the French car manufacturers Renault and PSA. The Chinese group, which accounted for 13% of the sales of electric cars in the world in 2016, intends to invest in a plant for the production of electric cars, buses and coaches. The Chinese industrialist’s production site should be located in Tangier Automotive City. This Moroccan settlement is a testimony to the Chinese giant’s ambitions on the international scene. More and more major cities such as Sao Paulo or Rotterdam have already integrated BYD vehicles into their fleet. The group delivered its 10,000th bus in 2016. The company is still a recent player on the market however. Originally specialized in the production of lithium batteries, in the early 2000s, BYD embarked on a path of diversification in the car industry by acting in the early stage of the booming electric car sector. The American billionaire Warren Buffet was not mistaken: his company Berkshire Hathaway invested in BYD as early as 2008, with a participation of 10%.
To satisfy demand growth worldwide, the fourth Chinese car brand by number of sold vehicles, started in 2014 to invest abroad – first in the United States, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, and then France this year. BYD generates a total revenue of 11 billion Euros and is present in fifty countries in the world. Needless to say that the Chinese group’s investment in the Kingdom should put Morocco at the heart of a sector which is bound to be the future of the car industry: the electric car industry. Wand Chuan Fu, the charismatic founder of BYD, considered as one of the largest fortunes in China, should contribute to this success. When the future plant of Peugeot-Citroën is operational in Kenitra in 2019, the country should exceed the threshold of 650,000 vehicles produced locally. And with BYD, the Kingdom of Morocco should progress even further towards its ambition to reach rapidly a production level of one million units per year.