Mobius Motors, a Kenyan car manufacturing company, announced that they would soon introduce a new African SUV model. The Mobius II is expected to be unveiled and available for use by early 2019.
The new SUV will be a second model from Mobius Motors which released its first model in 2014. It will be a classy, robust, affordable car with no thrills. It will be designed to cater for African needs especially roads. The company, Mobius Motors was founded by Joel Jackson, a British businessman in 2009. This was after Mr. Jackson realized the struggle on African roads, specifically rural Kenya.
He realized that the rough terrains covering long roads were undermining people’s level of productivity. Back then, he was working in Kenya. Mr. Jackson says that drivers took a lot of time trying to drive on such rural roads. It is then an idea to come up with a better product for this mass market sprouted.
Mobius Motors announced that they have already started to accept orders from interested clients. The company is not only targeting the Kenyan market but everywhere with poor quality and rough terrain roads. Mr. Jackson said that the African market was being neglected with the world focusing on poor quality roads in the BRIC (Russia, China, Brazil, and India).
The company revealed that the price of the new Mobius II SUV would be charged at KSh1.3 million (approximately $12,500). This is equivalent to the price of a Sedan car in Kenya of 5 to years old. This pricing is cheaper when compared to imported cars. However, it is not quite affordable for the average earner as GDP stands at $1,455 per capita.
The Mobius II SUV has a 1.8 liter per frame and a rear wheel drive with body parts sourced from global and local markets. The speed of the SUV is yet to be released. Mr. Jackson noted that there was more focus on funding international vehicle manufacturers than the local industries in Africa. He was speaking at TEDGlobal 2017 held at Arusha, Tanzania.
Other local vehicle manufacturing companies that are performing well include Uganda based Kiira Motors. This company is currently developing a hybrid car which will be Africa’s first. The car will sell at $20,000. Nigeria is also leading with Innoson which launched several models of private cars back in 2014. The cars have locally sourced body materials. PWC noted that Nigeria would potentially become Africa’s automotive hub. However, it has not been smooth for African local vehicle manufacturing companies with some failing to kick off, like the Nyayo Car by Kenyan government back in 1986.
The African market is expected to grow regarding local vehicle manufacture as it moves to middle-income from low income.