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Italian supplier Sogefi plans to open a new factory in Morocco to build engine filtration systems. It will be the company's first industrial site in Africa.

in Automotive News Europe, by David Jolley, 22-03-2017

Sogefi will invest up to 10 million euros in the plant, which will begin manufacturing a diesel filter and an oil filter for various automakers starting 2018.

The company says it has already received new orders for both the local market and the European market that will generate additional annual sales of 30 million euros from 2020.

The factory in Tangier will employ 120 people, but Sogefi says new business opportunities may lead to an expansion of the plant and a rise in the number of employees to 300. This could provide annual sales of 60 million euros in 2021, the supplier said.

"This investment further strengthens the competitiveness of Sogefi's manufacturing base and provides support for profitable growth in Morocco and in Europe," Sogefi's CEO, Laurent Hebenstreit, said in a statement.

Moroccan expansion

Moroccan car production has grown in recent years as foreign automakers invest in or are planning to invest in a market that Sogefi predicts will reach a production volume of about 1 million vehicles annually by 2025.

Renault operates two factories in Morocco: its factory in Tangier produces Dokker, Lodgy and Sandero models alongside body pressings for export. A plant in Casablanca builds Logan and Sandero models.

Renault recently announced plans to invest $1.04 billion in the country, along with a partner group of suppliers, to build an "industry ecosystem" to help boost local production of components.

French rival PSA Group has also unveiled plans to build a $630 million factory in Morocco to assemble subcompact and compact models for Africa and the Middle East starting in 2019.