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makeraddedto its existingCasablanca plant in 2012 by building Africa's larg- est original equipment manufacturer plant in TMZ, helping to develop an ecosystemof automotive players. Marc Nassif, who arrived in


Morocco to lead Renault's operations in March 2016, says the proactivity of the kingdom and TMZ have been cru- cial to its success and long-termcom- mitment toMorocco.


which to expand capacities to source vehicles and parts for the Western world and the European- Mediterranean region, including all the north African and Arab countries. Morocco became obvious for two


Q A


reasons. First was the willingness of the king to re-industrialise the north- ern region, and to bring activity, know-howand jobs. Second was the location. Tangier


is a bridge between Africa and Europe, so it was the perfect loca- tion. Another point was the stability of the country – socially, economi- cally and in terms of foreign exchange – meaning you are able to operate in a stable environment.


ations of the plant? Q


WHENTHENEWPORT TERMINAL BECOMES FULLY OPERATIONAL, LOGISTICSCOSTS WILL DEFINITELYGOIN THE RIGHT DIRECTION


104


How has TMZ supported Renault in the set up and oper-


What attracted Renault to set up operations inTMZ?


In 2007, the group was looking for a competitive location in


Ticking alltheboxes T


Q&A: MARCNASSIF SPECIAL REPORT


Q&A


THE CEO OF RENAULT’S MOROCCAN OPERATIONS TELLS ALEX IRWIN-HUNT HOW THE COUNTRY HAS TURNED ITS WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS


he champion of Tanger Med Zones (TMZ) success has been Groupe Renault.The Frenchcar-


construction of the second produc- tion line in 2013. We very quickly reached the full capacity of 340,000 vehicles per year in our Tangier plant. TMZ was a single window of sup-


A


port. Many countries have a single window – I had experience of it in India – but [with TMZ] you have an agency that is fullyempowered to get what you need. They really scout for what you


require, because they know that your success is going to be their suc- cess. We have very regular reviews focused on activity and the pain points that we face in operations, whether it is land, logistics or employment and training. Given the global scope of our


operations and ecosystem, this is par- amount for us in terms of competi- tiveness. Right now, even during the Covid-19 situation, both of our plants are getting all the support they need.


ticked all the boxes. Nothing is miss- ing. Previously there was no infra- structure and electrical powerwas an issue. Nowthis is not an issue. The only discussions we have is


Q A


on the cost of power. But an interest- ing point is that Tangier is our only plant around the world that is com- pletely carbon-neutral. Two-thirds of our energy comes from windmills, and a third frombiomass. King Mohammed VI had a strong


vision to bring clean power to Morocco, with the goal to reach 42% renewable energy in its power mix by the end of 2020. We are moving in that direction very clearly. Morocco has no energy aside


from solar and wind – there is no oil or gas. From a weakness, they made a strength.


Q


Where do you see room for improvement?


How well integrated is the Tanger Med Zones platform?


To be frank, Morocco and Renault Group have jointly


We started hiring in 2009, then the plant opened in 2012, with


CURRICULUMVITAE MARC NASSIF


2016 RenaultMarocGroup Managing director


Previously Renault India, CEO; Renault Global Manufacturing Quality, vice president


ofpeopleandtraining.In2007,Tangier lacked industry aside from agribusi- ness and textiles, so had no ability to deliver the skills we needed to invest. That isgoingaway. Ithinktrainingand skills is a strongpoint today. Renault is embedded into the


A


official Moroccan curriculum, and provides specialised training on auto- motive maintenance. We have brought new technology, and have moved from extremely manual pro- cesses to slightly automated pro- cesses. We introduced automation into the curriculum and are spread- ing this outside the classroom. Logistics are extremely smooth,


as we have a special line for all the imported parts and exporting cars. But we still have to work on the cost factor, because traffic compared with the big international platforms is still low.However,when thenewport terminal becomes fully operational, logistics costs will definitely go in the right direction.■


December 2020/January 2021


One of the weaknesses that Morocco had was the preparation


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