M a r k e t N e w s

Low cost Kenya-made car goes on sale at Sh950,000

Posted on : Saturday, 15th November 2014

A Kenyan-made vehicle that is designated as Africa’s cheapest car has hit the showrooms, bringing to reality the dream of an entrepreneur who designed it four years ago.

The car, which trades under the brand name Mobius, entered the showrooms this month at a price of Sh950,000 – making it the lowest-priced new vehicle in the country.


Mobius Motors is the maker of the vehicle while Thika-based Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) is the assembler of the vehicle that is designed for Africa’s rough terrain and off-road driving.

The vehicle comes with extras such as air conditioning and power steering.

Mobius, whose design and engineering works are supported by US billionaire Ronald Lauder, has opened a showroom at Sameer Business Park on Nairobi’s Mombasa Road.


SPECIALLY DESIGNED


Mr Lauder’s financial backing has helped Mobius scale up its production besides speeding up its journey to the market.


KVM has assembled 50 units since Mr Lauder injected millions of shillings into the operation through the Pan African Investment Company (PIC) and has since sold 10 units.

Mobius Motors is currently looking for distributors in Nyeri, Maua, Meru and Murang’a, and is mainly targeting rural transport.

The car can seat eight passengers, including the driver, and it has a large cargo space. Mobius’ promoters are also banking on the vehicle’s efficient fuel consumption and easy maintenance to establish it as the car for rural folks.


It has a loading capacity of 625 kilogrammes and a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour, achieved using a five-speed manual transmission.

At Sh950,000, the car is significantly cheaper than the lowest-priced showroom models in the market that cost more than Sh2 million.


Mr Lauder, whose worth is estimated at $3.8 billion (Sh330 billion) by Forbes magazine, has offered Mobius an undisclosed amount of convertible debt to help it assemble the first 50 units this year and establish a distribution network.


A convertible debt is a loan that can be turned into equity or stock ownership at a future date. Savvy start-up investors prefer it because it helps them secure investment funds without setting a valuation on a company — a difficult process for a pre-revenue company.


Mr Lauder made his money from cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and served as US ambassador to Austria from 1986 to 1987. Dana Reed, the chief executive officer of PIC, sits in the board of Mobius Motors.

Mr Joel Jackson, the design brains behind Mobius, says he expects a vehicle designed specifically for the African market to appeal to business owners who are looking for affordable transportation.

Source : investmentkenya.com
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