The Ghanaian government’s automotive development policy which is largely aimed at revitalising the domestic automotive industry appears to be yielding some positive results as more International Automobile companies have announced plans to set up assembly plants in the country.
The recent developments in the sector has had the Managing Director of CFAO Motors Ghana has speaking. In a recent interview, he said that, “our group is working on that; obviously by the end of 2021 we will be present as an assembly plant [in the local market] also,” Managing Director Paulo Fernandes told said this when speaking with a Business media outfit in Accra, in response to a question on whether the makers of the cars that CFAO distributes in Ghana had plans of assembling locally.
Mr. Fernandes remarked that, “to have an assembly plant in Ghana is a huge opportunity for global car manufacturers to produce new vehicles at cheaper prices for the population—and I think it’s a really good idea.”
According to the CFAO MD, the move by automobile companies around the world wanting to set up factories in Ghana affirms the confidence of the carmakers and CFAO in the domestic automobile industry.
A number of carmakers have announced their intentions to set up assembly plants in the Ghanaian market, following the government’s launch of an automotive development policy to encourage investment in the sector. German automaker Volkswagen (VW) has already begun assembling some of its brands locally.
Mr. Fernanades however echoed the need for a ban on importation of vehicles into the country for the industry to truly thrive. He particularly mentioned the need for a ban on used and salvaged vehicles, which, he argued, was “a good thing for the environment and for the future of the country”.
“If the government will support us—like placing a ban on used-car imports—the new car market will grow and it will be good for everyone. It is dangerous for the growing nation to continue to purchase vehicles that are not fit to be driven in Ghana.”
Apart from support from the government, the CFAO boss said that the local automobile industry will need support from the banks, in terms of providing secure and sustainable means of funding for potential car buyers.
“The automobile industry will need very interesting financing solutions to grow, and it will be very difficult without the support of the banks. It must be teamwork between carmakers, dealers, banks and the government. This will be a game-changer for the automotive sector.”
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