Neo Motors Plans IPO on Casablanca StockExchange، Morocco، to produce Green cars
Morocco’s first car manufacturer، Neo Motors، which begins selling the nation’s first homegrown automobile this month، is targeting its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Casablanca Stock Exchange to expand into Green cars or electric vehicles (EV) production by manufacturing a three-door passenger model that will retail for $20 thousand and compete with similarly priced combustion cars from Renault SA owned Dacia and Chinese brands as the country's strategic plan estimates that production capacity will reach one million cars per year by 2025 and two millions by 2030.
Neo Motors to produce Green car، EV، in Morocco
American Bloomberg News Agency reported that Morocco’s Neo Motors company is seeking a listing on the kingdom’s main stock exchange، Casablanca Stock Exchange، to expand into Green cars or electric vehicles production in Morocco to launch up to an annual 15 thousand vehicles within three years.
Moroccan carmaker Neo Motors، co-founded in 2017 by Morocco’s now-communications and culture minister، is initially assembling 3،000 units a year of its debut vehicle، a three-door passenger model and begins selling the nation’s first homegrown automobile this month، is targeting a listing on the kingdom’s main stock exchange to expand into into Green cars or electric vehicles production.
Neo Motors looking at listing، other financing options
Nassim Belkhayat، Neo Motors Co's Chief Executive Officer told Bloomberg in an interview in Marrakech that the carmaker is in talks with the African Development Bank on further financing options to introduce green cars or electric models.
Neo Motors’s plans would be another advance for Morocco’s car industry، a sector the government has cultivated as part of a broader drive to turn the North African nation on Europe’s doorstep into a manufacturing and trade hub for Green cars or electric models open to both the West and China.
Ingredients to build a successful industry
Nassim Belkhayat، Neo Motors Co's Chief Executive Officer revealed that Stellantis NV’s Peugeot and Renault vehicles are already assembled there، with authorities now focusing on adding value by making key components locally as Morocco also aims to become a major player in the electric vehicle market thanks to its access to key natural resources for batteries such as lithium، cobalt، manganese، and phosphates.
Morocco's strategic geographic position offers easy access to key markets in Europe، the Middle East، and Africa; this logistical advantage is emerging as a unique strength in the global supply chain puzzle that many companies are looking to solve so that Neo Motors Co. can sell its Green cars or electric models in these markets.
Neo Motors’ first standard $20 thousand model launched this month
To support the automotive industry’s growth، especially Green cars or electric models، the Morocco's government has implemented policies aimed at encouraging foreign investment، such as tax incentives and streamlined bureaucratic processes، as well as has invested in infrastructure، including the creation of two main industrial platforms: the construction of a new port in Tangier، facilitating exports and a second in Kenitra، both enjoying free zone status which means companies operating in them over the next five years will be exempt from corporation tax.
Following a tax rate cap of 8.75% for the next 20 years، it is expected that investment from leading automakers in Africa will increase، thanks to financial incentives and multiple free trade agreements with the European Union and the US، this، in turn، is expected to have a positive impact on export activity in Morocco.
Morocco emerging as key global production hub
Morocco، home to about 37 million people، has just 4.3 million registered cars and sees about 175 thousand sales of new vehicles each year، according to local retailers and industry group Aivam which said that green cars or electric models from Neo Motors Co. would mirror similar initiatives across the broader Middle East، from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Neo Motors Co. got a major publicity boost when King Mohammed VI met its leaders earlier this year and the company had secured loans from Moroccan banks during the coronavirus pandemic to help fund a 50 million-dirham ($4.9 million) investment in its plant in Ain Aouda، near the capital، Rabat، and the project moved ahead when Peugeot started making engines at its new Kenitra plant، providing a competitively priced local component that automakers previously had to import.
Neo Motors Co. is similar to Volkswagen a century ago
Belkhayat concluded that Neo Motors Co. wants to make green cars، EV or traditional vehicles for the people، just like Volkswagen did a century ago، as it makes its own body، own frame and electric cables system and source the rest to 43 local suppliers، howeer، the car industry is cash-hungry، so naturally a listing on the Casablanca stock to exchange is among the company targets.
Last year، Moroccans themselves bought 161 thousand new cars، with imports coming from Germany، Spain، Czechia and Turkey but the bulk of the 465 thousand vehicles produced in Morocco were sold to France، Italy and Spain as now it’s very much easier to produce a car in Morocco than it was 10 years ago.