RABAT - As part of Morocco's vow to pioneer the car manufacturing sector in Africa, the North African kingdom launched its first car brand in an unprecedented royal celebration.

On Monday, the Moroccan monarch Mohammed VI examined the first model of the "Neo Motors" car, a long-awaited reveal of the first originally Moroccan car, reported local media

Neo Motors is currently in the process of opening an industrial complex in Ain Aouda, a few kilometres outside of the capital of Rabat. The plan will be dedicated to manufacturing vehicles for both the local market and for export creating over 500 job opportunities.

Nassim Belkhayat, the Moroccan entrepreneur behind the company, received the royal medal of creation during the honorary celebration where the King was pictured checking the first model of the car.

The Neo project is expected to have an annual production capacity of 27,000 units. It was constructed under a budget of MAD 156 million (US$15 million).

In February, the Moroccan Agency for Road Safety granted final approval for Neo Motors' first vehicle. The company launched pre-production, with the plant’s inauguration scheduled for June 2023.

The first "made in Morocco" car is set to be sold in the local market at an average price of MAD 170,000 (US$15,000).

During the ceremony, the King also celebrated the inventors of the NamX prototype hydrogen vehicle created by Moroccan-French businessman Faouzi Annajah.

Set to be released in 2025, NamX prompts its motors as a response to the rising demand for hydrogen and hybrid cars amid the international prevailing shift towards clean energy sources and decarbonisation.

Morocco is currently the leading car manufacturer in Africa.

Over the first three months of 2023, exports from Morocco’s automotive industry MAD 33.9 billion (US$3.4 billion), marking a 44% year-on-year increase.

In September 2022, Rabat unveiled an ambitious industrial plan aiming to scale up electric car production capacity within two years.

The plan's target is a yearly production of 100,000 units in the span of two to three years, double the current production input.

Morocco's ambition to emerge as a hub for electric car production is emboldened by the country's significant capacity in the field of green hydrogen production.