Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Photo: Ford Motor Co.

As part of its global growth plan, Ford Motor Company is expanding its operations in North Africa with a new regional sales office in Casablanca, Morocco, and a purchasing office in Tangier, Morocco.

“Morocco is a great place to do business,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, director, Ford Middle East & North Africa. “Morocco has a very skilled and motivated workforce, a growing automotive supplier ecosystem, access to ports, free and fair trade agreements and a very pro-business mindset. Ford is delighted to partner with Morocco to expand our operations in North Africa.”

Ford said is bringing seven new vehicles to North Africa this year and will more than double the amount of parts it purchases from North African-based suppliers. The growing automotive supplier network in North Africa, primarily in Morocco, will supply parts to Ford’s assembly plant in Valencia, Spain, among other operations. Ford has completed a 2.3 billion euro investment in its Valencia plant – the largest automotive investment in Spanish history – allowing it to increase its volume and the number of nameplates it produces.

The upgraded facility can now produce 450,000 vehicles annually, and is flexible enough to adjust volumes among six nameplates assembled there: Mondeo, Kuga, S-MAX, Galaxy, Tourneo Connect and Transit Connect, according to the automaker. The facility currently builds Fusion wagon, five-door, and four-door including Fusion Hybrid, Kuga SUV, Transit Connect light commercial vehicle and Tourneo Connect people-mover. It recently began production of the all-new S-MAX and Galaxy MPVs, as well as the Fusion.

“In order to support our production expansion just across the Mediterranean in Valencia, the amount of parts Ford sources in Morocco and North Africa will increase exponentially,” added Sivagnanam. “This translates into thousands of indirect jobs and millions of dollars in investments,” he said. “The most important part of this expansion is that we will be bringing more vehicles that customers want and value to markets across North Africa,” said Sivagnanam.

Ford is opening 13 new retail facilities in North Africa this year. In Morocco, Ford vehicles will be available at eight new showrooms by the end of 2015.

Ford’s distributor Auto Hall has been selling Ford vehicles in Morocco for more than 100 years. Its founder, Gabriel Veyre, was tasked by the Sultan in the early 1900’s to bring the automobile to Morocco. After extensive research, in 1911 he chose Ford, according to the automaker. Auto Hall began selling Ford cars to the newly mobile Moroccans soon after, and due to growing demand, it incorporated Auto Hall in 1920. SCAMA (Société Chérifienne d’Automobile et de Matériel Agricole), a subsidiary of Auto Hall was founded in 1993.

Morocco is the best-selling market for Ford in North Africa. Ford has sold 3,400 vehicles so far this year in Morocco, an increase of 26 percent compared to Jan – April 2014. Ford said it expects its sales growth in 2015 to continue to outpace the industry growth rate of 11 percent.

Ford said it is committed to giving back to the communities in which it operates. As part of its expansion in Morocco, Ford’s philanthropic arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund, is launching the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy in Morocco, a pilot project that sets the stage for additional community programs.