Italian carmaker Fiat, a partner in the Stellantis joint venture with US-based Chrysler and France’s PSA Group, has announced the opening of a manufacturing plant in Tafraoui, Algeria.

Several Fiat car models, including the Fiat 500 and Fiat Doblò, will be built at the new facility.

The plant’s inauguration ceremony was chaired by Algerian Minister of Industry and Pharmaceutical Production Ali Aoun and attended by various diplomats and businesspeople – including Stellantis managing director Carlos Tavares and Valentino Valentini, Italy’s Deputy Minister of Business.

Aoun said the new plant will serve the domestic and international markets, adding: “We are committed as public authorities to guaranteeing support for all investment projects aimed at creating wealth and employment.”

The facility, which was opened following an agreement in October 2022, has so far created 500 direct jobs in Algeria this year. Fiat aims to reach 1,200 jobs there by the end of 2024 and 2,000 jobs by 2026, with an additional 1,600 indirect supplier roles also expected to be created.

In recent years, Algeria suffered a drop in FDI levels as civil unrest and high levels of corruption continue to plague the country’s political landscape. As a result, the number of greenfield investments dropped from 28 in 2019 to just five in 2020 and 12 in 2022, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. Between 1 January and 12 December this year, that number stood at 12.

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In addition, FDI inflows, which reached $1.38bn in 2019, fell to $89m in 2022, according to UNCTAD.

“Our Dare Forward 2030 plan envisioned the integration of Algeria into Stellantis’ regional future, and today, we are proud to have brought this plan to fruition by launching the Fiat brand in the country and by offering exceptional models to our Algerian customers, in particular thanks to the manufacturing of cars in Algeria,” said Tavares from Stellantis. “Today marks the start of a promising adventure of growth and development for the benefit of the citizens of Tafraoui and our Algerian customers. With this achievement, we reaffirm our commitment to Algeria, and we are determined to strengthen it further.”