AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
ONE of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers – Volkswagen – has expanded its front in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the official opening of a vehicle assembly facility in Accra, Ghana.
With this investment, Ghana has become the 5th Volkswagen vehicle assembly location in Sub-Saharan Africa; the other locations are in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda.
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presided over the official opening of a facility that has created jobs in Ghana. Akufo-Addo witnessed the unveiling of the first vehicle assembled in Ghana. The country’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, and other cabinet ministers attended.
Volkswagen said the vehicle assembly facility in the West African country, which has a population of about 30 million people, was the realisation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which the company signed with the government of Ghana in the presence of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, nearly two years ago.
The company said the government of Ghana fulfilled its MoU undertaking to develop a comprehensive Automotive Industry Policy with the recent promulgation of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP), which is a groundbreaking and blueprint automotive policy in the West African region.
GADP has paved the way for Volkswagen to solidify its commitment in Ghana with the initial investment in the first phase of its long term vehicle assembly plans.
Universal Motors Limited, a licensed Volkswagen importer since 2005, has been awarded the assembly contract for the initial phase of the project. The Universal Motors facility in Accra has an installed capacity to assembly 5 000 units per annum. The models to be assembled using Semi Knocked Down (SKD) assembly kits are Tiguan, Teramont, Passat, Polo and Amarok.
Thomas Schaefer, Head of Volkswagen Sub-Sahara Region and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, said: “The opening of our vehicle assembly facility in Ghana is another exciting chapter of our expansion journey in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. This is a big step into establishing our presence in the West African region. I wish to commend the Government of Ghana under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Akufo-Addo, for introducing a comprehensive policy that is set to transform the automotive industry in West Africa.”
Schaefer added: “Volkswagen is committed to helping Ghana to develop a modern automotive industry as part of the country’s industrial transformation agenda.”
Schaefer also announced the establishment of Volkswagen Ghana, which is the first automotive company to be registered under GADP. Volkswagen Ghana is a 100% subsidiary of Volkswagen. It is a registered assembler and will be responsible for the importation of the SKD kits and Fully Built Units (FBU). Jeffrey J. Oppong Peprah has been appointed as the CEO of Volkswagen Ghana.
Volkswagen is strengthening the regions and focusing on new up-and-coming markets as part of its TRANSFORM 2025+ brand strategy. Alongside North and South America as well as China, the Sub-Saharan region plays an increasingly important role. Although the African automotive market is comparatively small today, the Sub-Saharan region has the potential to develop into an automotive growth market of the future.