German automobile giant Volkswagen is on the hunt for a new location to set up a new industrial project
German automobile giant Volkswagen is on the hunt for a new location to set up a new industrial project. The production facility will be its second in the continent after it established factories in South Africa. After
talks to build an automobile factory in Algeria failed, the renowned car-maker seems to have turned to Rabat.
The failure of the Algerian talks let to a bidding war between Morocco and Tunisia to host the project. Acting Tunisian finance minister Salim Besbas revealed that Volkswagen wanted to build a new production facility to supply the North African market along with buying shares in a Tunisian company that imported cars from the German automobile maker. The import company was owned by Skhr el-Matery, a relative of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and is now under the supervision of a specialised committee after being confiscated as part of the Ben Ali family\'s assets.
Volkswagen officials reportedly visited Morocco twice, where they scoured for industrial sites in the economic capital Casablanca in order to explore existing infrastructure to set up plants. The second visit was to the free trade zone established at Tangiers, where the French company Renault recently opened one of its biggest projects.
Renauls had previously targeted Algeria as well only to find a better deal in Morocco.
Algerian newspapers blamed Algeirs\'s failure to strike a deal with Volkswagen on automobile import lobbies. The plant was to be established in three stages: the first producing 70,000 cars for the local market, then 100,000 as an annual target, and in the third stage develop new production lines directed towards African and Arab exports.
The German group had presented its project to the Algerian government, in the presence of nine senior officials from the company headed by deputy president Christopher Spadilfem, who is responsible for global production, before changing tack to opening talks with Morocco.