Ethiopian car industry races ahead

Apr 12, 2016

ADDIS ABABA (CNN) —For a population of 97 million, Ethiopia has just 84,000 registered vehicles.

Most of these are imported, but there is an emerging field of foreign companies manufacturing cars inside Ethiopia’s borders.

China’s Lifan Group opened a factory in Addis Ababa in 2014, which has capacity to assemble 20 cars a day. The parts are imported from China, but 97 percent of its employees are local workers.

Producing cars locally allows Lifan to avoid paying the 35 percent import tax that applies to foreign vehicles, and offer consumers a cheaper product. Lifan vehicles are available for $15,000, similar to the price of used imports, which could be a strong competitive advantage.

“Lifan is a new car,” says factory supervisor Figo Wang. “Nissan and Toyota may be second hand because (they are) too expensive.”

Lifan may also benefit from a wider appetite to see more new cars in operation on the road.

“These old cars pollute the country, and they cost a lot of money to import spare parts,” says Constantinos Berhuetesfa Constantinos, professor of public policy at Addis Ababa University. “New cars…will reduce the transportation problems here.”

Other Chinese manufacturers such as Geely are also basing operations in Ethiopia, and the new field looks set to grow.

“We are very confident to develop in this country,” says Ma Qun, deputy general manager of Lifan Motors Ethiopia. “If we can really make this market very successful, maybe we will bring some suppliers from our headquarters… so we can convince some of them to come to Ethiopia to produce the parts here.”

As Ethiopia’s manufacturing capacity expands, a nation of few cars could see a lot more traffic.

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Posted by on April 12, 2016. Filed under COMMENTARY,VIEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to Ethiopian car industry races ahead

  1. Jean

    April 17, 2016 at 4:31 AM

    Car companies can not race ahead only by foreign companies specially by chineese companies by killing local assembling companies. where are the local companies? that should be told first. there where once 6 of them now remain only two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. jean

    April 17, 2016 at 5:52 AM

    how can car industry gear up when local assembler have been destroyed, it is always the same story. where are the ethiopian assemblers a couple of years ago there were 6 now only LIFAN and MESFIN Engenering guess how comes??????? this was supposed to be adressed also in the story. The local industry will grow up with the contribution of the local private industry !!!!!!!!! not by destroying them and giving full opporyunity to the chineese and government companies.

  3. Moresh

    April 20, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    Car are used to give service, not luxury. But who is paying USD 15,000 in Ethiopia? Only the rich! But do the Chinese sell the lifan for USD 15,000 in their own country? I don’t think so. Even though the production cost is expected to be higher in China….even though the purchasing power of the people is also better in China, I don’t think lifan is sold for USD 15,000 in China!!!!

    But here………..

    \\Ethiopia must think over it…..!

  4. መከላከያ ብረታ ብረትና ኢንጂነሪንግ ኮርፖሬሽን (METEC)

    April 26, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    በአማራ በክልሉ ልዩ ልዩ ዞኖች የሚገኙት ቅሬታ አቅራቢ ወጣቶች ከዩኒቨርስቲና ከቴክኒክና ሙያ ኮሌጆች ትምህርታችውን በመጀመሪያ ዲግሪና በዲፐሎማ ያጠናቀቁ ናቸው፡፡ በአማራ ክልል የገዢው መንግስት በእርሻ ስራ ያደራጃቸው ወጣቶች እንዲሰሩበት የተሰጣቸው የእርሻ መኪና ጥራት ዝቅተኛ በመሆኑ ስራቸውን አቁመው ማህበራቸወን ለመበተን መገደዳቸውን ተናገሩ፡፡
    በክልሉ ልዩ ልዩ ዞኖች የሚገኙት ቅሬታ አቅራቢ ወጣቶች ከዩኒቨርስቲና ከቴክኒክና ሙያ ኮሌጆች ትምህርታችውን በመጀመሪያ ዲግሪና በዲፐሎማ ያጠናቀቁ ናቸው፡፡ ወጣቶቹ በእርሻ ስራው ለመሰማራት የሚያስችል ፕሮፖዛል አቅርበው ተቀባይነትን በማግኘቱ ገንዘብ በመቆጠብ ብድር ቢፈቀደላቸውም፤ባቀረቡት የሃሳብ እቅድ ዝርዝር (ፕሮፖዛል) ሳይሆን ንብረቱን ከመከላከያ ብረታ ብረትና ኢንጂነሪንግ ኮርፖሬሽን (METEC) እንዲቀርብላቸው መደረጉ ለችግሩ ዋና ምክንያት መሆኑን ይናገራሉ፡፡
    ትራክተሮች ከፍተኛ የጥራት ችግር ያለባቸው መሆኑን የሚናገሩት ቅሬታ አቅራቢዎች ትራክተሮች ሁለት ወር ሳይሰሩ በመሰባበራቸው ስራቸውን ለማቋረጥ መገደዳቸውን ተናግረዋል፡፡
    ለገዢው መንግስት ግላዊ ሃብት መሰብሰቢያ ሆኖ በሚያገለግለውና በሃገሪቱ ከሚገኙ አበዳሪ የገንዘብ ተቋማት በላይ ወለድ ከሚጠይቀው የአማራ ብድርና ቁጠባ ተቋም በ15 በመቶ ወለድ ተበድረው እንዲገዙ የተደረጉት ቅሬታ አቅራቢዎች፣ በመከላከያ ብረታ ብረትና ኢንጂነሪንግ ኮርፖሬሽን (METEC) የቀረቡትን ትራክተሮች እንዲገዙ መገደዳቸው ለችግር እንደዳረጋቸው ተናግረዋል፡፡
    የትራክተሮች ጥራት ዝቅተኛ መሆን ለስራቸው እንቅፋት በመሆኑ ማህበራቸውን አፍርሰው ለመበተን መገደዳቸውን የሚናገሩት ወጣቶች፣ በአሁኑ ሰዓት በየተመረቁበት የሙያ መስክ ስራ ቢፈልጉም ስራ በማጣታቸው በቤተሰብ ጥገኝነት ያለ ስራ በመንገላታት ላይ መሆናቸውን ገልጸዋል፡፡
    የመከላከያ ብረታ ብረት ኢንጂነሪንግ ፣ ከሀገሪቱ ሀብት እየወሰደ ራሱን ያስፋፋል እንጂ ለመንግስት ግብር ከፍሎ አያውቅም በሚል ይወነጀላል። ድርጅቱ እጅ ባጠረው ጊዜ በመንግስት እንደሚደጎም፣ የሚተዳደረውም በወታደራዊ ህግ በመሆኑ ኦዲት የሚባል ነገር እንደማይነካው እንዲሁም የአንድ ብሄር የበላይነት ጎልቶ የሚታይበት ተቋም ነው በሚል በተደጋጋሚ ይተቻል።