ACCRA// – Two Japanese multinational automobile manufacturers – Suzuki Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. – will join French Compagnie Française de l’Afrique Occidentale (CFAO) to set up a vehicle production unit in Ghana.
The alliance intends to make Ghana the hub of its operations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Suzuki’s General Manager in-charge of Middle East and Africa, Koichi Suzuki, disclosed this when he called on Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra.
Suzuki said the alliance, which joins four other automakers – Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault and China’s Sinotruck – who have expressed interest to establish assembly plants for Ghana, intends siting its distribution and after-sales service centre in the country in partnership with Compagnie Française de l’Afrique Occidentale (CFAO).
With this move, Suzuki which is currently enjoying over 50% share in the Indian automotive industry, and Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group that has the largest distribution network in Africa, intend to “find a next India on the African continent”.
“We are highly interested to participate in the initiative made by the Ghanaian government to start production here to expand it and to grow it,” Suzuki said. “We firmly believe that our next growth will come here in Africa,” he stated, adding, “we want to contribute to the further development of African countries…Our vision is with Africa and for Africa.”
Suzuki produces about 3.3 million affordable units of vehicles annually.
These vehicles are reliable, safe and fuel-efficient, with engine capacities less than 1.6-litre via its production plant in India that churns almost half of its global production.
President Akufo-Addo said the decision by Suzuki to want to set up an assembly plant in Ghana, will increase foreign direct investments into Ghana and would spur development and economic growth.
“We are interested in developing a vibrant and dynamic automobile industry in Ghana; we have made several initiatives towards that end and finally, I believe we are now ready to outdoor our automotive policy, which will then let everybody know exactly, people like you if you want to come to Ghana, what is available to you in terms of government support, incentives and the rest of it, and also the obligation that will be on you if you wanted the Ghanaian space”, he said.