African car plants are nothing new, but vehicle exports from the continent are the exception, rather than the rule. Renault, which already has a presence in Morocco, is looking to expand into Algeria.
Renault’s Tangiers factory builds cars like the Dacia Lodgy, and can crank out up to 400,000 vehicles annually. Building cars in Morocco is significantly cheaper than building them in France, or Dacia’s homeland, Romania. Workers are paid 250 euros a month on Morocco, 450 a month in Romania and 1,800 per month in France. Keeping these costs down is of the reasons than high-quality “low cost” cars can be sold in Europe and world markets, but French unions are less than pleased.
The Algerian plant is still in flux, and there’s no word on whether Renauts or Dacias will be built there, and if they’ll even be exported to Europe. The Moroccan-built Dacias are getting their share of praise from the buff books, and with the way things are going in Europe, cheaper cars are going to be much more appealing to those who can even afford a new car. Renault is planning on axing a significant portion of their lineup in the UK, and using Dacia cars to fill the holes.