You know about European and Asian car manufacturers. But did you know that Africa has several indigenous car manufacturers?
Right now, Africa might still be a heavy importer of used vehicles. However, all that looks like it’s about to change as many indigenous car makers are emerging from different corners of the continent.
Cars from these manufacturers are proving to be of high standard too, with many of them competing favourably with their foreign competitors.
Today, we take a look at some of Africa’s many car manufacturing companies that are changing the global car manufacturing scene.
Kantanka Automobile, Ghana
Established in 1994 by one of Ghana’s most famous entrepreneurs and preachers, Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, Kantanka is a builder of on- and off-road automobiles.
The company has a wide range of products in its array including four-by-four all-terrain vehicles and modern clean energy electric cars.
Amazingly, all of this started with a humble prototype sedan made in 1994.
Since then, the company has been off to a flying start, exploring various means to make driving comfortable and affordable for Ghanaian citizens.
The company first started to mass-produce vehicles in 2016 and would eventually go on to set up its very first showroom barely two years later in 2018.
KANTANKA researches, designs and develops cars that fit the needs of institutions, government agencies and individuals.
Some of the company’s signature models include the Kantanka Mensah salon cars, Omoma pickups used by the Ghanaian military and other security outfits, Onantefo, K71, and an electric vehicle model, the Kantanka Omoanimaa EV.
Mobius Motors, Kenya
Mobius is unapologetically Africa-centric and makes bold to say the same. In its About Us section, Mobius makes its mission very plain: to design, manufacture and sell vehicles built specifically for the African mass market.
The brand went into business, seeking ways to create vehicles that could meet the needs of the typical African customer.
And so, for this reason, factors like common road terrain, typical vehicle loading, and average income levels are forward and centre to the company’s creative designs.
Mobius is well known for creating powerful SUVs with the ruggedness needed to handle the rough terrains of rural roads.
But one other thing that the company prides itself in is the ability to make these vehicles available to customers at the same price as a used sedan.
Wallyscar was founded in 2005 and currently produces cars at a not-too-shabby rate of 600 units per year.
Its very first car, the Wallys I Z I S, was shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2008 and it sure was a thing of beauty.
The car came with a body that was entirely made of fibreglass, fitted with a galvanized chassis, and a PSA Powertrain engine.
After the model got approved in Europe, Wallys immediately went into production in 2009 and the rest they say is history.
Since its inception, Wallys has produced more than 2200 cars, with the brand placing a premium on creating cars that are economical, reliable, and powered by compact engines.
It’s also a family business, which the brand credits as one of the reasons for its authenticity in the market.
Wallyscar is a 100% Tunisian company and brand and more than 57% of its automotive components are of Tunisian origin.
Kiira Motors Corporation, Uganda
Kiira Motors Corporation is a Ugandan state-owned car manufacturer and this brand prides itself in being the brand to bring about Africa’s very first electric vehicle as far back as 2011.
But that’s not the only achievement in Kiira’s books as the company was also the brand behind Africa’s first solar electric bus, the Kayoola Solar Bus, produced in 2016.
Right now, in Uganda, Kiira has a fully electric low-floor city bus that carries passengers around the city with a range of 186 miles on a full charge.
Some of Kiira’s signature buses include the Kayoola Diesel Coach, a premium intercity bus aimed at addressing the need for a novel and innovative transportation solution that meets the demand for comfortable, long-distance mass transportation in Africa.
The Kayoola Diesel Coach is powered by a 6-cylinder turbocharged inter-cooled Cummins engine, providing over 375 horsepower, and able to achieve a top speed of 140km/hr. Passenger comfort is guaranteed through the 47 reclining leather seats, each fitted with magazine holders, swivel armrests, footrests, foldable tables, and cup holders. The passenger experience is further enhanced through the availability of overhead & leg ventilation, LED saloon & reading lights, USB Charging Points, and connectivity ensured through the onboard Wi-Fi service.
The Kayoola Diesel Coach is further fitted with an onboard toilet and a refrigerator that can hold fifty-three 300ml bottles.
The Kayoola EVS is a Fully Electric Low Floor Bus specifically designed for Urban Mass Transportation.
At full charge, the Kayoola EVS has a range of up to 300 kilometres making it capable of seamlessly handling the daily duty cycle.
With a sitting capacity of up to 90 passengers, the Kayoola EVS™ is positioned to offer great returns for the bus operator while enabling the reduction in congestion on the city roads.
The Kayoola EVS are fitted with state-of-the-art safety and assistive technology for people with special needs including special seats and a ramp for easy boarding and off-boarding of people in wheelchairs.
The KIIRA EV SMACK is a 5-seater front-wheel drive sedan with a traction motor powered by a rechargeable battery bank and an internal combustion engine-based generator. It is the first Electric Hybrid Vehicle designed and built in Africa.
This configuration of two power sources ensures an unlimited range and increases the efficiency of the powertrain, hence enhancing fuel economy.
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Nigeria
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing or IVM is Nigeria’s first wholly indigenous vehicle manufacturing company. It was founded in 2010 and since then, the company has grown to the point where it can deliver an output of 10,000 vehicles per year.
Among IVM’s customers are the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army, and different levels of the Nigerian government. IVM also exports its vehicles to other African countries like Mali, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.
Perhaps the most impressive car in IVM’s collection is the Innoson G80 luxury SUV. This dynamic and luxurious SUV has a superior combination of steering response, driving comfort, sophistication and performance that is both efficient and enthusiastic.
This car seats up to 5 people comfortably and can hold up to 80 litres of fuel.
Innoson Caris is a sleek, sporty, modern sedan designed for African roads. The car comes with a reinforced shock absorber that helps to maintain stability when driving through rough terrains.
A reverse camera helps you to see what is behind you to avoid a collision while reversing. And an in-vehicle smartphone integration that allows you to be aware of the calls and messages entering your smartphone while maintaining full concentration on your driving.
Innoson also manufactures metro mass transit buses that can transport up to 100 people at a time.