African entrepreneurs are refusing to be left out in the automotive industry. After years of purchasing cars outside the continent, the trend has changed as some local engineers have taken advantage of technological advancements to venture into the car manufacturing business.
Countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana have already taken the lead in that regard. The wonderful thing is that some of these homegrown cars are designed for the rough terrain in Africa.
Innoson Vehicle – Nigeria
The Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, which is the first Nigerian technology company to produce cars, has given scores of Nigerians the opportunity to purchase their own cars. The biggest Nigerian car manufacturer recently indicated that with N1.5m ($4,500), one will be able to purchase a new vehicle from them. This comes on the back of concerns that many homegrown cars are often expensive. The company, owned by Chief Dr Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma currently produces luxury cars, minibuses and trucks. The Innoson model of cars is already in the market and in use.
Mobius Motors – Kenya
The company in 2014 had its inaugural model Mobius II rolled off the assembly line. Fifty units were sold by the end of 2015, with the company now focusing on producing more advanced models. Mobius Motors was founded in 2009 by British entrepreneur Joel Jackson. He was then working in rural Kenya and realized that people had vehicles that were not able to withstand the country’s rough terrain and long distances. The company, therefore, designed its cars around Africa’s road terrain and distance. The Kenyan car manufacturer is planning to introduce an affordable, but robust and classy SUV for the African mass market. The Mobius II, which is a significant step up of the inaugural car released in 2014 is set to be on the road by next year, 2019. The entry-level model currently costs 1.3 million Kenyan Shillings ($12,500). The company has since begun accepting orders for its latest car, the Mobius II.
Kiira Motors – Uganda
The company produces the Kiira EV Smack, which is an electric hybrid car. It was first invented by students, but the government of Uganda subsequently decided to throw its weight behind the invention, through the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovation. Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) has the aim of setting up and operating a vehicle assembly plant in Uganda.
Kantanka – Ghana
Owned by a pastor, Apostle Kwadwo Safo, the Katanka Automobile Company’s manufacturing plant is located in Gomoa Mpota in the Central Region of Ghana. His range of SUVs, pickups, and so on which are already on sale are supposedly designed to suit the country’s local conditions. Its range of sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks are priced from $18,000 to $35,000. The CEO of Kantanka group, Apostle Safo Jnr, who is also the son of the inventor said his range of cars are ready for the tough market and comes up against established brands like Toyota, Mercedes and BMW in Ghana.