A select group of European media was invited for an early tour of UTAC’s and FEV’s Morocco Mobility & Automotive Centre ahead of the official opening, which will take place before the end of 2023.
“All the tracks are finished, we just have some fine-tuning to do, for example with the irrigation of a couple of the facilities. We are also in the process of finalizing the setup of our IT systems and camera surveillance systems,” revealed Bashar Al Taweel, general manager of UTAC Maroc, Morocco Mobility & Automotive Centre.
Testing began in mid-2022 and operations are still in the ramp-up phase, but so far so good, Al Taweel reported. Users from automotive companies in the UK and Sweden have utilized the new resource. In addition, engineers from Stellantis have moved into their new home at the site in Oued Zem. According to Al Taweel, this asset is extremely important for the auto maker in supporting its R&D center in Casablanca as well as its manufacturing hub in Kenitra.
Morocco has pledged to build a complete ecosystem for automotive development and production – and the UTAC/FEV site plays an instrumental role in this. “Morocco is willing to be the biggest country in Africa in terms of automotive production. The plans are to produce a local car and they are willing to have a bigger OEM presence. This meant that the state helped us as much as possible in setting up the proving ground,” commented Al Taweel.
“At the same time, it is an important component in the UTAC and FEV portfolios – to be close to customers and have an international offering.”
Highlights of the vehicle testing ground include a 4km-long coast-down track, small and large dynamics test platforms, a high-speed circuit, wet and dry braking areas, a road circuit, an urban area, a dust track, an off-road area, an ISO 10844 acoustic track, special roads with different surfaces, climatic test chambers and workshops. FEV also has a facility on-site with a raft of equipment for powertrain analysis and vehicle emissions testing.
A unique 4G vehicle tracking system is in the process of being set up.