The Volkswagen Group consolidates its position in Africa with the opening of a factory in Relizane, Algeria. Up to 200 vehicles of the models Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Caddy, SEAT Ibiza, and ŠKODA Octavia can be produced daily at the assembly plant. The big moment had arrived: Herbert Diess, a member of the Board of Management, as well as the CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, and Mourad Oulmi, CEO of the Algerian Volkswagen partner SOVAC, cut the red tape together. With the launch of the new assembly plant, the tension felt by the many participants gave way to pride. In a record time of just 200 days, the team comprising the brands Seat, Škoda, and Volkswagen had built a modern assembly plant in the Algerian steppe region at Relizane, 250 kilometers southwest of the capital Algiers.
The company has ambitious plans in Africa and especially in Algeria. "Our commitment here in Relizane is part of our comprehensive 2025 strategy. The African continent offers great growth opportunities for the Group," said Diess in his opening speech. "And we are not as strong in Africa as in other parts of the world. We want to change that."
"Volkswagen will also write a new, great success story in Africa."
The main investor in Relizane is SOVAC S.P.A. who, as a majority shareholder, also acts as the managing director of SOVAC Production S.P.A. The Volkswagen Group holds a minority stake in the joint venture. After the signing of the contract in November 2016, the plant was already up and running in May 2017 as a multi-brand factory with four assembly lines. The short construction period was particularly thanks to the close cooperation between the brands of the Volkswagen Group and SOVAC, whose parent company has been the official representative of Volkswagen in Algeria for the past ten years and is also home there to some 90 dealers of the Group's brands.
Mourad Oulmi, CEO of SOVAC S.P.A., was visibly proud of what had been achieved: "Today is the start of a new era for our partnership. SOVAC Production is now part of the Group – and together we will create an industrial network in which, in addition to vehicle production, a supplier structure is built that meets the requirements of local production. The plant will become a jewel in the Algerian economy."
The guests got a first impression when the curtain lowered at the end of the opening ceremony, providing a glimpse and way into the assembly halls. Parked there were a Volkswagen Golf, a ŠKODA Octavia, a SEAT Ibiza, and a Caddy from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, labeled with the avowal: "Ich bin ein Algerier" ("I'm an Algerian").
"I'm an Algerian"