By Prudence Minayo
Africans buy a lot of goods imported from Europe and Asia, especially cars. Japanese and German cars are very popular with Africans. The good news is that some young innovative minds set out to manufacture cars in Africa made for Africans-and some by Africans. This, hopefully in the long run, will make Africans serious manufacturers and not only consumers of everything West. This is a big stride, especially in an age where Africans are keen to tell their own story in their own words.
This article takes a look at some amazing cars made in Africa.
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Innocent Chukwama is the founder of Innoson Motors. Back in the late 20th century, motorcycle costs were high in Nigeria and he saw the need to eradicate this problem by starting his own motorcycle manufacturing business. This was how the brand grew from selling motorcycles to manufacturing cars, thus becoming the first automobile brand in Africa.
Innoson cars are designed to fit in with the African roads. According to the manufacturer, the cars have a lot of advantages including:
- They consume minimal fuel
- Their spare parts are readily available
- 3 years warranty on the engine, axles and gear.
- They have minimal chances of overheating
- Contain shock absorber to withstand the many potholes present in some African roads
- Affordable prices.
The company’s vision is to become the pride of African roads. They produce decent luxury cars, vans and trucks. While most Nigerians cannot afford to buy new imported cars, they can now afford to buy new cars made in their own country.
The car is made in Ghana and includes both salon and four-wheel vehicles. In December 2019, the company unveiled a 40 feet long wingless luxurious aeroplane limousine called the Kantaka-MO. The car is a sight to behold with an incredible exterior and an equally awesome luxurious interior. Some of the features in the car include:
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- High quality white colored leather seats
- Hi-Fi speakers
- Huge LED TV
- Dashboard Digital motors.
- Ambient lights
The year before the launch, the company had unveiled an armored vehicle with a rangefinder in the 2018 Annual Technology Show.
Kiira EV Smack
The cars in this range were first designed by students of Makerere University, Uganda in a project spearheaded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The five-seater sedan was designed to suit the local roads in the country. The cost effective car can be powered by an electronic electric engine.
This is a car brand made in Tunisia that was started by two brothers, Omar and Zeid Guida. The cars in this line are made in accordance with European standards at a fair price. The hand made cars go for a price of about €12,000 to €15,000.
This is a car brand made in Ghana. Unlike the Kantaka which oozes sophistication, this is a more simple car design made from recycled parts. The DIY car is said to have been made in a span of 12 weeks.
This is a South African made brand that mostly produces replica sports cars. The company is known for recreating classic racer cars, like, Porsche 917 and Ferrari P4.
S3 Roadster by Birkin Ltd
This is a South African manufactured car. The S3 roadster can be bought as either a turn-key car, or as a DIY kit that can be completed by the owner. It uses an independent rear suspension and not a live axle like it used to before.
The Laikipia BJ-50 is an of Samwel Njogu. It made it to the limelight in March 2019 when the county government of Laikipia showcased the locally made cars at the devolution conference. The car is set to be mass production by the Nyahururu-based Sagak Tech Enterprises Ltd
The 7 passenger car has a maximum speed of 70km/h and sells for about kes450,000. While the county government said it had received orders for the car, a section of citizens criticised the car design.
This is a brand made in Kenya designed to be driven on Kenyan/African roads. The engine and transmission system is designed to help the car navigate rough terrain even with heavy loads. It uses a custom developed double wishbone coil springs suspension in the front and axle leaf spring suspension in the rear. This helps to improve the stability of the steering wheel without interfering with load capacity for transporting heavier goods in the boot.
The interior is simply and beautifully designed to deliver a frictionless user experience. The car goes for around 1.2 million Kenyan Shillings. The Mobius II is a great improvement from the previous Mobius I. The founder and CEO of Mobius Motors is Joel Jackson. He is not a Kenyan national.
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