French car manufacturer Renault has launched a new plant in Algeria to support its new strategic focus on growing North African markets.
The new plant in Oued Tlelat, in the north-western Oran region of Algeria, is the first Renault has opened in the country in 50 years. The firm has abandoned its earlier Algerian operations in 1962 after Algeria gained independence from France.
With production capacity of 25,000 vehicles per year, the plant will produce Renault’s new low-cost Symbol model, which is traditionally hugely popular in the North African country.
The plant, currently operating only one production line, will employ 350 local workers, trained at Renault’s training centres in Oran and Romania.
Renault is considering extending the plant in the future to achieve production capacity of up to 75,000 vehicles per year.
Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, as well as the Minister of Industry and Mining Abdesselam Bouchouareb, attended the opening together with France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius and Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault group.
With a market share of more than 25 per cent, Renault is the number one car seller in Algeria.
Its new Symbol vehicle, based on the low-cost Dacia Logan platform, will to be the first car sold in Algeria offering an in-built GPS navigation system, Renault said.
The €50m factory was jointly funded by Renault and the government of Algeria, which holds a 51 per cent stake in the venture.
Renault also operates a plant at Tangiers in neighbouring Morocco, producing some 100,000 vehicles annually, mostly for export.