CASABLANCA - Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD on Saturday signed an agreement to open a factory near the Moroccan city of Tangiers to build battery-powered vehicles, officials said.
BYD will become the third car manufacturer, after Renault and Peugeot of French, to construct cars in the North African state.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the royal palace in the coastal city of Casablanca in the presence of King Mohammed VI and BYD's chairman, Wang Chuanfu, whose company is backed by US investor Warren Buffett.
The factory in the new Mohammed VI Tangier Tech City, which is part of a project between China and Morocco, is to produce electric cars, buses and trucks at a 50-hectare site employing 2,500 people, according to the project directors.
A plant for the assembly of electric trains is also planned, but the amount of investment and timeframe of the overall project were not announced.
"We hope to benefit from Morocco's location as an entry point to Europe and the African market," Wang said, adding that the first phase would produce cars.
According to industry sources, Morocco aims to add a fourth major automaker plant before the end of 2021 and to have capacity to produce one million vehicles a year by 2025.