French President Francois Hollande started his two-day state visit to Algeria with a big commercial announcement in the form of plans by Renault to build a factory in the country.
His Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika was also on hand for the announcement, which marks Renault’s return to production in the former French colony after a break of 33 years.
Hollande called it a “good project, a good project for Algeria, a good project for Renault and a good project for France. The cars being built here are destined for the Algerian market, but not just Algeria, for other markets too”. He stressed it was “not a plant moving from France to Algeria”.
The facility at Oran in north west Algeria will start production in 2014, making cars just for the region, unlike the much bigger plant Renault opened in Tangier, Morocco, in February which produces vehicles for export around the Mediterranean.
Renault’s push to develop overseas sales has helped to protect it from the worst of the slump in Europe.
Car registrations jumped 57 percent in the first ten months of this year in Algeria. Renault has a 27 percent share of the market.