French FEV Vehicle and UTAC CREAM to open first development and testing center in Africa

MOROCCO – French groups, FEV Vehicle, a powertrain developer, and UTAC CERAM, a testing specialist, are to open the first development and testing center on the African continent, in Oued Zem, Morocco.

The facility will feature a variety of endurance and reliability rigs, alongside test tracks and a 4km coast-down track. Powertrain, acoustics and ADAS development facilities will also be present as well as capacity for driver training.

Utac Ceram, a service provider in all areas of land transport, and FEV, a globally leading service provider of vehicle and powertrain development for hardware and software, announced the setting up of a joint-venture tasked with the building and management of this centre which will be located in Oued Zem, 150 km southeast of Casablanca.

“Morocco has not only been our gateway to Africa but also to our European customers ever since we’ve opened our engineering office in Casablanca in 2018”, said Nadim Andraos, Executive Vice President for FEV in France, Spain and North Africa.

“The country provides a great access base to other regions with a quick connection to Europe, which means we are able to develop genuine synergies.”

Nadim Andraos – Executive Vice President, FEV

“The country provides a great access base to other regions with a quick connection to Europe, which means we are able to develop genuine synergies”, he added.

The centre will carry out complete endurance and reliability tests on rigs and test tracks, vehicle dynamics testing, coast down tests on a 4 km track (unique in Europe and Africa), acoustics development & testing, ADAS development, validation & testing.

“The decision to choose Morocco was due to its countless advantages and the dynamic policies implemented by the Kingdom with the aim of turning the country into a global hub for the automotive industry,” CEO of Utac Ceram Laurent Benoit said.

“From its opening in 2021, this center will offer a complete range of services. Morocco has a geographical proximity to Europe, which is a key asset for international players,” said UTAC CERAM President Laurent Benoit.

Morocco’s future automotive testing center will provide a wide range of services, including endurance, reliability, dynamics, braking, and pedestrian impact tests.

The services will also include measurement of car emissions, driver training, and event planning services.

Morocco’s automotive factories in Casablanca, Kenitra, and Tangier are likely to be the primary customers of the testing center. The companies, meanwhile, hope that the center will provide services for European manufacturers as well and serve as a gateway to Africa.

Based in Paris, UTAC CERAM is a private group specialized in the regulation, approval, testing, and certification of land transport vehicles. The company currently has two testing centers in France, but also collaborates with other centers in the UK, North America, Russia, China, and Japan.

The center in Morocco would be UTAC CERAM’s first venture in a developing country.

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