Creating new perspectives since 2009

Algeria opens its first Fiat car manufacturing plant

December 13, 2023 at 4:31 pm

A picture shows the logo of Italian car giant Fiat near Lille, northern France on May 11, 2023 [DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images]

Italian carmaker, Fiat, has announced that it has opened its first manufacturing plant in Tafraoui, Algeria. The move is in partnership with the Stellantis joint venture with US-based Chrysler and France’s PSA Group.

The inauguration on Monday in the north-western province of Oran, was chaired by Algerian Minister of Industry and Pharmaceutical Production, Ali Aoun. Also in attendance was Stellantis Managing Director, Carlos Tavares, and Valentino Valentini, Italy’s Deputy Minister of Business.

“Given Italian manufacturer Fiat’s popularity, the brand was chosen to be the first manufactured locally,” Aoun said during the plant’s opening ceremony.

“We are committed as public authorities to guaranteeing support for all investment projects aimed at creating wealth and employment,” he added.

READ: UN Security Council ‘paralyzed’ in face of Palestine crisis: Algerian president

The car models, Fiat 500 and Fiat Doblò, will be among those built at the new facility, which is expected to produce 90,000 cars per year.

The move follows an agreement signed in October 2022, reported Investment Monitor, which has so far created 500 direct jobs in the North African country this year. Fiat aims to reach 1,200 jobs there by the end of 2024 and 2,000 jobs by 2026, with an additional 1,600 indirect supplier roles also expected to be created.

Algerian outlet, TSA, reported that the Fiat factory is the first of its kind in Algeria under the administration of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, noting that “a first experiment to set up an Algerian automobile industry ended in a bitter failure,” referring to the 2014 inauguration of the Renault factory in Oued Tlelat near Oran.

It is expected that the new plant will revive Algeria’s automobile industry, which took a nosedive in 2019 after the government’s decision to stop importing cars and to close assembly factories. President Tebboune, at the time, said the plants “were only used to put wheels on the vehicles” in exchange for large tax concessions.

READ: Italy’s Meloni talks tough on migrants while opening up to foreign workers