Dozens of Moroccan manufacturers are learning about the competitive dynamics of the U.S. auto parts aftermarket through site visits, seminars, and one-on-one meetings under Nathan’s USAID-funded New Business Opportunities (NBO) program
According to Henry P. Allessio, automotive parts sector consultant, Morocco’s parts manufacturers are well-positioned to boost their sales once they understand the U.S. market. “The product quality across the board is exceptional. ISO certifications are the rule, and the suppliers have years of experience serving the original-equipment requirements of Western Europe.”
At present, NBO is helping Moroccan companies develop aftermarket relationships in the United States for oil and air filters, radiators, brake friction, and clutch facings for golf carts, passenger vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks. Sales development activities are expected to gain momentum in the coming months. Future activities will cover such products as exhaust, pistons, leaf springs, control cables, tempered glass, seats, electronic assemblies, lighting lens, and a wide range of plastic molded items—as well as an examination of original-equipment opportunities at various supply levels.
The purpose of the NBO program is to help Moroccan firms take advantage of the U.S.–Morocco Free Trade Agreement and export duty free to the United States. By eliminating tariffs the FTA will reinforce Morocco’s cost advantage among U.S. importers. Morocco’s educated workforce has an average wage about the same as Turkey’s and one-fifth of Spain’s.