M a r k e t N e w s

Uganda: Kiira Motors in Talks to Setup Vehicle Manufacturing Industry

Posted on : Friday , 4th March 2016

A Local car manufacturer, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), is in talks with at least four automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) about establishing a vehicle manufacturing industry in Uganda, a government minister has said.

Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, the minister of state for Higher Education and chair of the KMC technical task team, told a stakeholders' consultative seminar at KMC gardens in Ntinda, Kampala last Friday that the corporation and car parts manufacturers are trying to determine the feasibility of assembling trucks and buses in the country.
"With several OEMs expressing interest, it is a key milestone prepositioned to establish the key applications of commercial vehicles in Uganda," Tickodri said.
He cited OEMs like Ashok Leyland under the Hinduja group that signed a memorandum of understanding with government to explore the viability of this investment opportunity.
Others who have expressed documented interest are Mahindra-Mahindra from India, SinoTruck from China, and e-Traction as an electric power train system technology prospective partner.
The move follows plans by KMC, producers of Kiira EV, Kiira EV SMACK and Kayoola EV, to produce vehicles by 2019 before becoming original manufacturers on their own in 2039.
"These innovations are a testament of Uganda's commitment to exploring clean and green transportation technology, reflective of our commitment to enhanced environmental stewardship as we develop Uganda and Africa at large," Tickodri said.
In an interview with The Observer last December, KMC chief executive officer Paul Isaac Musasizi said talks with several international vehicle manufacturers in Japan, China, India and Malaysia were underway.
The successful bus and truck OEM partner would be a firm of high repute within the market and should be ready to engage in significant value addition for creation of jobs in the country.
Allan Muhumuza, the KMC vice president marketing and sales, said in an interview on Monday that there is still room to accept more proposals from vehicle manufacturers.
"You cannot start off with manufacturing without partnering with someone. We want to be exposed to established companies so that we learn from them as we also advance our technological capability," Muhumuza said.
"We are not beginning to manufacture 100 per cent of the car here. So, by 2039 after working with the successful partner, we shall ensure that 90 per cent of the content of the car is developed in Uganda."
Some of the key players in Uganda today undertaking the buses and trucks manufacturing business are Daimler Truck (Fuso, Actros, and Mercedes), Isuzu, Tata, Iveco and Scania.
With the existence of such big players, last year, government acting through the Uganda Development Corporation also embarked on a pre-investment analysis for the establishment of a truck and bus manufacturing plant.
Muhumuza said they are anxious about the plant that will be based at Kagogwa village in Jinja where they are yet to obtain a 99-year lease for 100 acres of land.
KMC plans to build state-of-the-art facilities for engineering (with anticipated capacity of five cars per eight-hour shift), corporate affairs and a vehicle validation unit.
Meanwhile, Tickodri commended government for the support towards championing the automotive manufacturing industry in Uganda. Government has committed nearly $90m (about 297bn) for the project. Of this, $36m (Shs118bn) has been used since the project's inception in 2011.

Source : allafrica.com
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