Renault inaugurates multi-million-euro plant in Algeria
ORAN - French motor manufacturer Renault inaugurated a multi-million-euro plant in Algeria Monday, Paris's former colony owning 51 percent of the factory with an initial production capacity of 25,000 cars annually.
The factory is to produce the Symbol, a saloon based on Renault's Clio compact sold mainly in markets where hatchbacks are not traditionally favoured.
Initial capacity of 25,000 cars is expected to rise to a maximum yearly output of 75,000.
Production is destined for the Algerian market, Africa's second largest in terms of sales, with more than 400,000 vehicles imported every year.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron were on hand with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal as the first new car rolled off the assembly lines in the country's second city Oran.
Sellal called the new plant "the fruit of a win-win situation", while Fabius described it as "the symbol of an exemplary Franco-Algerian partnership".
An agreement for the joint venture was signed in December 2012 during a visit by French President Francois Hollande.
Algerian sources say overall investment in the plant is expected to reach 800 million euros (nearly one billion dollars).
Renault also operates a plant at Tangiers in neighbouring Morocco, where 100,000 vehicles were built in 2013, 90 percent of them for export.