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BYD plans EV assembly plant in Morocco
Automotive News Europe | 2017/12/15

BYD Auto Co. signed an agreement to open an assembly plant in Morocco to build battery-powered passenger cars, buses and trucks.
 
The factory will be located in Mohamed VI Tangier Tech City, which is part of a new project between China and Morocco to create what some are calling a North African Silicon Valley.

BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu signed the memorandum of understanding Saturday in Casablanca.

Wang did not disclose details about the models to be produced in Morocco. 

BYD also plans to build EV batteries on the 50-hectare site, where it expects to employ 2,500 people, a joint news release said. The automaker is scheduled to start production next year.

Production hub
Morocco¡¯s low-cost labor, generous tax incentives, low inflation and economic stability have made it an attractive location for vehicle assembly. 

The average monthly wage in Morocco is less than 400 euros, compared with 2,000 euros just across the Mediterranean Sea in Spain. Renault has two assembly plants in Tangier and Casablanca, while PSA Group will begin building cars near Kenitra in 2019. 

BYD has been aggressively building up its global presence. The company opened its first electric bus plant in Europe in April. 

The 20-million-euro (153 million yuan) factory in Komarom, Hungary, can assemble up to 400 battery-driven buses annually. The buses will be exported to customers across Europe, BYD said. 

In March, the company announced plans to build a 10-million euro electric bus plant in France. The factory will be constructed in Allonne, France. It will start production in the first half of 2018 and it will produce up to 200 buses annually, BYD said. 

In addition, BYD has a partnership in the United Kingdom with Alexander Dennis, which has already delivered electric buses to the cities of Liverpool and London, the company said. 

In North America, BYD operates an assembly plant in California to supply electric buses. Last month, it unveiled plans to open an assembly plant in Ontario to produce garbage trucks and delivery vans. 

BYD still has not realized a goal to sell cars in Europe.?Five years ago, Wang told the Financial Times that BYD would export the e6 electric car and the S6DM plug-in hybrid from China to Europe by the end of 2012. 

That plan did not materialize. 

In China, BYD has a partnership with Daimler. The partners plan to produce new EV models to meet the central government¡¯s EV mandates.

In September, Wang said BYD may raise its investment in Shenzhen Denza New Energy Automobile, its 50-50 venture with Daimler. 

Daimler and BYD aim to expand the product lineup at the unprofitable Denza brand, which only sells one model, a five-seat sedan.

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