Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Head of the Sub-Saharan Region and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerenmaten of Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the presence of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana to establish a vehicle assembly facility and to assess the feasibility of a modern Mobility Concept for Ghana.
According to Volkswagen, this would also include developing a fully-fledged sales and service network in Ghana as well as establishing a Training Academy for Production and After Sales.
Volkswagen undertook to commence with a feasibility study for an integrated mobility solution which will include a review of the commercial viability of introducing car sharing, ride hailing and shuttle services by way of a Ghanaian subsidiary of VWSA, or the appointment of a local service provider.
In turn, the Ghanaian Government undertook to develop a comprehensive Automotive Industry Policy which will incentivise and facilitate vehicle manufacturing and assembly in Ghana. This includes a preferential procurement policy for locally assembled vehicles.
Schaefer commented: “We are impressed with the determination and desire of the Ghanaian Government to develop a motor industry. As the second biggest economy in West Africa, Ghana is the ideal next building block in our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy. The realisation of the MOU should see our assembly locations increase from four to five, the other locations are in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria. Our long term commitment to this region is real and sustainable. We believe that our committed actions and delivery of the last two years are proof of this.”
Volkswagen has a fully-fledged manufacturing facility in South Africa. It also assembles vehicles in Kenya, Nigeria and most recently in Rwanda in conjunction with an Integrated Mobility Solution, offering Community Car Sharing and shortly to be launched Ride Hailing.
“The first locally assembled vehicles are planned to be on the streets in Accra in early 2019,” added Schaefer.
Under its TRANSFORM 2025+ brand strategy, Volkswagen is strengthening the regions and focusing on new up-and-coming markets. Alongside North and South America as well as China, the Sub-Sahara region plays an increasingly important role. Although the African automotive market is comparatively small today, the region could develop into an automotive growth market of the future.
President of the Republic Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo said: “Ghana is committed to developing a modern automotive and vehicle assembly industry as one of the new strategic anchor industries, which is part of our industrial transformation agenda. We are, therefore, pleased to collaborate with Volkswagen to realise this vision. This joint enterprise between our two countries opens a new chapter in Ghana-German relations, which would further strengthen the long-standing bonds of friendship and commercial engagement between Ghana and Germany.”
President Akufo-Addo added: “I assure Volkswagen and its local assembler in Ghana of the full support of government in creating an enabling environment and incentive framework to make their investment a major success.”
“We continue to work with the German Government on development initiatives and are as committed to Africa as they are. We hope to partner with the German Government in providing training facilities and development opportunities in all the countries that we are operational in Sub-Saharan Africa,” concluded Schaefer.
Volkswagen has been in Ghana for the past 20 years with Universal Motors Limited (UML) operating as its licensed importer since 2005.
–Caption (left to right):Thomas Schaefer, Head of Sub-Saharan Region & Managing Director: Volkswagen Group South Africa, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia and Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerenmaten.