The African automotive market was valued at $28.45 billion in 2020, unfortunately, most of this revenue comes from the importation of vehicles in a continent that suffers a shortage of indegenuous auto manufacturing companies. Some of the top African auto manufacturers are Ghana’s Katanka Cars, Kenya’s Mobius Motors, Nigeria’s Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing and Egypt’s Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV). These companies are yet to attain in their respective countries, the mainstream success that international auto manufacturing brands have gained.
While clamour for more auto manufacturing companies in Africa continues, we are seeing a faster rate of manufacturing plants by international brands compared to local manufacturing companies or plants. African trend in auto consumerism continues, but is it possible that an auto manufacturing company on the continent will gain international acclaim and curb the excess dependence on importation in Africa?
Perhaps the exploits of Egypt’s Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV) company in the international scene, could usher in a new wave of respect and demand for made-in-Africa automobiles. The Egyptian auto company received a deal in 2016 from England to begin manufacturing the country’s famed double-decker buses.
This move made it the first time these buses were produced outside of Europe. And so far, the Egyptian auto manufacturing company has demonstrated that Africa can take on complex auto technologies as the Cairo-made buses are a hybrid of fuel and electricity. This is to meet Europe’s low-carbon and nitrogen dioxide emission standards.
“This bus is a hybrid system, which means it runs on both diesel and electricity”, said the Quality Assurance Manager at MCV, Rafik Nabil in a session. “This bus is a Euro-6 model, it has the highest emission technology in the world right now, which needs a special kind of gas. It runs on either diesel or electricity depending on the journey and road condition. This is the first time for a hybrid bus to be manufactured and assembled outside of Europe”.
This is a wake-up call for stakeholders to bring Africa into the fold of continents whose indigenous auto industries are curbing over-dependence on car importation and making vital contributions to the overall GDP.