The Citroen New C3 is the first car on Stellantis’ Smart Car platform for emerging and developing countries, starting with India, where it is built in Chennai.
PARIS — Stellantis will invest 300 million euros in its factory in Kenitra, Morocco, to build a new range of small cars on the “Smart Car” platform as well as increase production of electric quadricycles for Citroen and Opel.
Capacity at the Kenitra plant, which opened in 2019, will be doubled to 400,000 cars, along with 50,000 quadricycles including the Citroen Ami and Opel Rocks-e. A Fiat version potentially called Topolino will reportedly join those two models.
The factory, which was built with an initial investment of 557 million euros, currently builds the Peugeot 208 small car for the regional and European markets. The 208 is also built at Trnava, Slovakia.
Read more: How the Kenitra factory was built in less than a year
The Kenitra factory opened in 2019 with production of the Peugeot 208 for regional and European markets. Capacity will double to 400,000 passenger cars.
The Smart Car line for emerging and developing countries debuted this year with the Citroen New C3 built in India. A three-vehicle lineup is planned. The cars share many components with Stellantis vehicles built on the CMP architecture, including the Peugeot 208.
Stellantis officials said Wednesday that Smart Car vehicles will eventually make up 40 percent of sales in the North Africa and Middle East region.
Citroen launched the Ami in France in April 2020, with Italian sales following in December. Registrations in 2020 were 2,719, mainly in France, according to Citroen.
Last year, after adding Spain, Belgium and Portugal, registrations of the Ami grew to 9,183 units. Citroen added new markets for the model this year, including the UK, Germany and Morocco.
The Citroen Ami electric quadricycle and an Opel variant, the Rocks-e, are built in the Kenitra factory.
Opel launched the Rocks-e at the end of last year.
Citroen said earlier this year that production would be increased to 20,000 from 18,000 units. Supplier sources told Automotive News Europe in April that production will increase to about 35,000 to 40,000 units from 2023 including the Topolino. Stellantis has not commented about a potential Fiat version.
Stellantis says it will have a production capacity in the region of 1 million vehicles by 2030.
Other automakers and suppliers have set up shop in Morocco, taking advantage of low wages compared to Europe and generous incentives from the government, as well as easy access to major ports. Renault has two factories in the country — one in Tangiers with an annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles and one in Casablanca that builds around 85,000 vehicles a year.
“Stellantis’ global ambition will benefit from the strong development pace of the Middle East and Africa region that aims at contributing to creating a third engine for Stellantis, in addition to North America and Europe,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a news release Wednesday.
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