RABAT – Morocco’s automotive industry is gearing up for a significant transformation, with the country’s first car manufacturer, Neo Motors, announcing plans to go public. The company, which launched its inaugural three-door passenger vehicle priced at $20,000, is preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Casablanca Stock Exchange. This strategic move is aimed at funding Neo Motors’ expansion into the production of green cars or electric vehicles (EVs).
Neo Motors’ CEO Nassim Belkhayat stated that the firm is in negotiations with the African Development Bank for additional financing. The Moroccan government has been actively supporting the automotive sector as part of a wider initiative to establish Morocco as a key manufacturing and trade hub for EVs. The nation’s strategy targets crucial markets in both the West and China.
The Moroccan authorities have recently introduced a suite of policies to attract foreign investment into the automotive industry. These measures include tax incentives, streamlined bureaucratic procedures, and significant infrastructure developments such as new ports in Tangier and Kenitra. Both ports have free zone status, providing tax benefits to companies and positioning Morocco as a gateway with easy access to European, Middle Eastern, and African markets.
In addition to its IPO announcement, Neo Motors has received attention following a meeting earlier this year with King Mohammed VI. Amidst the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Neo Motors secured loans from Moroccan banks to invest 50 million dirhams (approximately $4.9 million) in expanding its Ain Aouda plant near Rabat. This investment coincided with Peugeot (OTC:) commencing engine production at its Kenitra plant, thereby supplying Neo Motors with competitively priced local components that were previously imported.
Belkhayat has expressed his ambition for Neo Motors to emulate Volkswagen (ETR:)’s model of producing affordable vehicles for the masses. With a strategic plan projecting a production capacity of one million cars annually by 2025 and doubling that by 2030, Neo Motors is poised for growth. The company takes pride in manufacturing its own body, frame, and electric cables system while sourcing other parts from 43 local suppliers.
The IPO is expected to bolster Neo Motors’ capacity to increase annual production from 3,000 to 15,000 units within three years. The company’s vehicle competes with similar combustion engine models from Dacia and various Chinese brands. With Morocco’s advantageous tax rate capped at 8.75% for two decades and its strategic location, increased investment from leading African automakers is anticipated.
The Moroccan automotive industry’s journey towards electrification and expansion is well underway, with Neo Motors at the forefront of this transformative phase.
This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.