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VENTURES AFRICA – Kenyan Vehicle Manufacturer (KVM) has revealed that it is currently working on the assembly of Africa’s cheapest car in its Thika plant and expects the vehicle to be made commercially available by June.
Dubbed Mobius, an invention of computer engineer Joel Jackson, the vehicle was first assembled last year using parts from Toyota with 35% of the vehicle’s parts sourced locally.
‘‘We did the prototype last year and this year we are launching the car for commercial sale by second quarter at the KVM,” said Mr Jackson in an interview with Business Daily
Built in Africa for Africans and taking into cognisance Africa’s rugged roads, the car can accommodate eight passengers, which is inclusive of the driver, has a large space for stacking goods and boasts an efficient fuel consumption capacity.
Although the initial unit price was estimated at $6, 000 (Sh516, 000), the price shot up to Sh950, 000 ($1,100) as a result of expensive spare parts which is still fair considering that new models of cars go for Sh2 million ($23,161)
‘‘Production cost is one of the factors that is determining the price of the car, and with costs of the assembling parts going up, we decided to settle on Sh950,000 which is quiet affordable,’’ Jackson said.
Although affordable and rugged, Mobius lacks luxuries such as air-conditioning, power steering and other internal fixtures found in most cars
However, Mobius is designed for rural areas and small business owners who need cheap and affordable transportation.
“The vision of Mobius is to build a more appropriate and affordable vehicle for transport businesses and in turn create a platform for mobility across Africa.” Jackson told Reuters
The company will start production with 50 units.