FEV and UTAC open first development and test center in Africa
Oued Zem, Morocco, May 2023 – A first in Africa: FEV and joint venture partner UTAC have taken into service the continent's first test center in Oued Zem, Morocco, approximately 150 kilometers southeast of Casablanca. This allows FEV, an internationally recognized innovation leader, to offer its customers highly attractive conditions for vehicle development and testing almost throughout the entire year.
“The launch of the first test center on African soil is an important strategic milestone for FEV,” said Prof. Stefan Pischinger, President and CEO of FEV Group. “Since 2018, we have been expanding our presence in Morocco and are very proud, now being able to provide our customers with a unique package of state-of-the-art development, testing and homologation services on the doorstep of Europe.”
“With this test center, UTAC and FEV offer their customers world-class test facilities in an exceptional environment,” said Connor McCormack, CEO of UTAC.
The state-of-the-art facility in Oued Zem is located at an altitude of 850 meters in Morocco's Atlas foothills. The site covers a total area of 500 hectares and comprises an extensive, completely newly built test area for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It allows a wide variety of test drives on a total of 14 sections and individual tracks. The centerpiece is a four-kilometer roll-out track (in accordance with EU and Japanese specifications to ISO 17025:07.22), which is unique in the world under these favorable conditions. Test sections for high-speed driving, brake testing and acoustic testing as well as incline hills and bad road sections, an ISO 10844 acoustic track, urban environment, and other test tracks complete the portfolio. The warm and dry climate of Oued Zem allows for almost year-round test operation. The new location is also an ideal starting point for long-distance tests in the Atlas Mountains, which are only 70 kilometers away.
In the adjacent, also newly built test center, customers will find a full range of test rigs for powertrain development (electric, hybrid and vehicles with combustion engines), RDE cycles, endurance and reliability testing, dynamics, acoustics, and climate testing. In addition, the state-of-the-art building complex houses spacious offices, conference and seminar rooms, and presentation areas. A total of four halls with separate entrances, office and workshop areas for vehicle preparation are available for customer vehicles. A hotel built especially for the guests of the test center with restaurants, spa and leisure options completes the offer.
“From the port in Casablanca, it's only an hour-and-a-half drive to Oued Zem. On demand, we are also happy to take care of the entire testing handling, including pickup and return logistics for customer vehicles. And we can guarantee testing operations here for at least eleven months a year under excellent climatic conditions,” said Nadim Andraos, Executive Vice President, FEV France, Spain and North Africa. “Additionally, this is a unique option especially for vehicle manufacturers with European locations, which we extend by providing an attractive environment for events such as vehicle presentations, driver training, internal training and much more.”
FEV has operated an engineering office in Casablanca since 2018. With the new development and test center, FEV is expanding its position as an important partner of leading companies in the transport industry in Morocco, which includes manufacturers, suppliers, and test laboratories, as well as schools and universities.