Industry Minister defends Bombardier as it puts its Moroccan plant up for sale

Last week, Bombardier announced that it is selling its Morocco plant, consolidating its aerospace business into a single unit. Monday, in a press conference held in Casablanca, Moroccan Industry Minister revealed that the company will be supplied by the unit in teh Kingdom after sale.

Bombardier. / Ph. DR
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Is Canadian aerospace and transportation company Bombardier really leaving Morocco ? In a press conference held, Monday in Casablanca, Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy answered this question, saying that only part of this information is true.

While Bombardier announced last week that it is selling its aerostructures unit in Morocco and Northern Ireland in an attempt to «consolidate its aerospace business into a single hub», the Minister stressed that the plant, located in Nouaceur, will still be linked to the Canadian firm.

«Bombardier is not leaving Morocco, it is just selling its business to subcontractors which will continue to produce aerostructures for it», Elalamy told reporters on the same day.

«It is just a handover», the Minister said, adding that the Canadian party, is «very happy about the relation it had with Morocco and the Moroccan competitiveness». «Morocco is definitely the backbone of Bombardier’s development. Its facility in the Kingdom is one of the most competitive ones, and the objective set by the firm is to develop this part», the Minister stated.

New bidders

The Minister’s statement comes as the firm headquartered in Montreal announced that it is selling its Moroccan facility to a manufacturer that will continue to supply it. Indeed, a call for tenders has already been launched so that the company «can concentrate on the manufacturing of its own planes».

Moulay Hafid Elalamy revealed the names of the firms that might be purchasing Bombardier’s Morocco plant, referring to Europe's Airbus, UK's GKN and the United States' Spirit AeroSystems.

«In three weeks, the name of the successful bidder will be announced».

Moulay Hafid Elalamy

During the same press conference, Moulay Hafid Elalamy acknowledged that the Canadian multinational, which has been struggling for the last couple of years, «needs to restructure itself to stick with its new strategy».

«Bombardier is one of the biggest aerospace companies in Morocco and it has helped the country strengthen its position in the sector, which has been growing ever since. Today, Morocco is home to 140 aerospace component manufacturers», Elalamy said.

For the record, Morocco’s Bombardier manufacturing hub, located in Nouaceur near Casablanca, has been operating since 2014. It is a low-cost aerospace manufacturing unit that produces aerostructures. Investing more than $200 million in the Kingdom, the Canadian company said that the Morocco facility was expected to employ 850 workers by 2020.

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