x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Renault to join offshore push with Algeria plant

Renault, the French car maker, is to build its next factory in Algeria as Aabar Investments of Abu Dhabi announced it would decide soon on similar plans.

Renault, the French car maker, is to build its next factory in Algeria, news reports in France say. The factory would boost Algeria's industrial development plans and strengthen its role as a growing offshore centre for European manufacturing. Yesterday, Aabar Investments of Abu Dhabi announced it would decide soon on similar plans for Algeria, in partnership with five German companies including Daimler and MAN Ferrostaal.

Renault would build the factory at Rouiba, on the outskirts of the capital Algiers, and would assemble the Logan and Sandero models, sold under the Dacia marque, as well as the Symbol, which is now built in Turkey. A spokesman for Renault said no discussions had been concluded in Algeria but the group was observing what was going on in a number of countries. Renault, founded in 1898, sells its vehicles in 118 countries under three brands: Renault, Dacia of Romania, and Renault Samsung Motors in South Korea.

More than a third of its sales are made outside of Europe and the plans for an Algerian factory are seen as a way to boost the car maker's presence in North Africa. In 1999, Renault formed an alliance with Nissan, and together they are the world's fourth-largest car company. To conform with Algerian regulations, Renault would have a 49 per cent stake in the new venture, partnering with the state-owned SNVI, although the French maker would run the site.

"It couldn't maintain this level without a local investment," Le Monde, the French newspaper, quoted a diplomat as saying. The project has yet to be given approval from Algerian authorities but it would help the country's ambition to build up a car industry. Renault holds top position in the Algerian car market. It sold 17,000 Dacia vehicles and 39,000 Renaults last year, giving it almost a quarter of the market. In the UAE, Renault has often sought creative ways to market its vehicles, unveiling its 2009 Koleos, an off-road vehicle, on the artificial snow slopes of Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates.

* with Reuters @Email:igale@thenational.ae