Why Made-In-Kenya Mobius Car Will Be A Hard Sell

Why Made-In-Kenya Mobius Car Will Be A Hard Sell

A made in Africa car craze has catched on in a number of countries across the continent including countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, where a new breed of automakers are building vehicles they say are custom-made for the region’s poor road infrastructure and  hot climatic conditions.

These African cars are however not going to have it easier in the local markets that are already flooded by cheaper imported cars from Europe and Asia. Consumer preference will also be another nut to crack, with many buyers preferring known brands from the Western and Asian markets.

Industry experts says pricing of these locally manufactured car will  be key to their success.

Kenya  has already rolled out a rough looking car, known as the Mobius, on its roads this year.

Retailing at about $10,000 each, Mobius is almost at par with most imported second hand cars that have better quality and features in terms of fuel consumption and availability of spare parts.

This is not the first attempt Kenya has taken in trying to manufacture its own vehicles.

In the late 80’s, the then President Daniel Moi ordered the country’s  leading University of Nairobi to come up with a car, “however ugly or slow it may be”. And sure enough, the engineers went to work and the car, named ‘Nyayo Pioneer’, rolled off the production lines in 1990.

The Nyayo Pioneer was an engineering disaster to say the least. It could not even ignite during the presidential launch and led to a rather gruesome public inquiry.