President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissions KIA vehicle assembly plant – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Kia automobile assembly plant in Ghana, urging the motor vehicle manufacturer to work towards making their products affordable to the local consumer.
Set up by Rana Motors Limited, a local licensed dealer for the South Korean automobile company, the plant, situated at Amasaman in the Ga West Municipality of Ghana, will assemble various Kia brands for Ghana and the West African markets.
The plant is a landmark achievement that marks the rollout of the first generation of KIA motor vehicles assembled under the Automotive Development Policy of the government.
Chief Executive Officer of Rana Motors, Essam Odaymat, in his address, recounted that the dream of the company started some 35 years ago when their father, Alhaji Mohammed Odaymat arrived in Ghana and stayed throughout the years to achieve his dream.
“Rana Motors began as a humble metal fabrication workshop located at Avenor. Handwork and dedication were soon to pay off in 1986 when Rana Motors was awarded the dealership in KIA vehicles being the first to do in Sub-Saharan Africa. The establishment of the company over the years, required tremendous effort to gradually change the perception and shine a ling in what we always believed the people behind the KIA brand possessed.”Chief Executive Officer of Rana Motors, Essam Odaymat
Mr. Essam Odaymat however expressed gratitude to the government of Ghana for laying the foundation to allow their father to realise the dream.
Chief Operating Officer of Rana Motors, Kassem Odaymat, said one key feature of the newly commissioned motor vehicle assembly plant can produce 70,000 units of annual volume with enough space and planning to include more complex assembly.
“It has been built with environmental credentials protecting the future of all of us including rain water harvesting, solar power readiness and even recycling shipping materials and metal into parts of the building,”Chief Operating Officer of Rana Motors, Kassem Odaymat
Kassem Odaymat added that the facility is capable of meeting and satisfying Ghanaian standards and customs needs. He said it can further expand to meet the standards and customer needs of neighbouring countries in Africa which will allow the potential exportation of cars from Ghana to other markets.
“I look forward to a bright future for this facility when it will produce higher volumes with much more complex operations,”Chief Operating Officer of Rana Motors, Kassem Odaymat
President Akufo-Addo said the opening of the plant was a major boost for Ghana’s industrial transformation agenda and that the development would enable his government to achieve its vision to make Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrialised hub of the automotive industry in the West African sub region.
The President said the establishment of the plant had been made possible by the conscious initiative of his administration to attract investment in the automotive sector under the Ghana Automotive Development Policy initiated by his Government and further stressed that they will pursue policies that would stimulate patronage of locally assembled vehicles.
Kia is the fourth largest global motor vehicle manufacturer. The company joins other global car brands including Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Sinotruck, and Ghana’s indigenous brand Kantanka, who have already established motor vehicle assembly plants in Ghana.
Noting that the critical component for harnessing the full potential of the automotive industry was a demand for assembled motor vehicles, the President revealed that his government was developing policies that would enable ordinary citizens to acquire locally assembled vehicles.
“As you may all be aware, I have directed the Chief of Staff at the office of the President, the prioritisation of the procurement of domestically assembled vehicles by state institutions to fulfill the government’s commitment to patronising made-in-Ghana products.”President Akufo-Addo
“We are, however, mindful of the fact that the state alone cannot purchase the sufficient numbers of vehicles to be produced from our assembly plants and will thus require Ghanaians also patronise these vehicles”President Akufo-Addo
Consequently, the government, the President disclosed, would soon roll out an asset-based vehicle financing scheme, as pertained in other developed climes, to stimulate the demand for domestically assembled vehicles.
“We have also shown commitment by implementing the zero-rating of VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles. This means that there is no VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles even to the end user to make domestically assembled vehicles affordable,”President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that he had charged the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to submit to Parliament the required legislative instruction proposing the implementation start date of the Customs Amendment Act (2020) and implementation of those outstanding provisions would trigger the full implementation of the Ghana automotive development policy and drive further investment into the industry.
The President also disclosed that the Trade and Industry Minister would soon submit to Cabinet for approval the Ghana Automotive Component Manufacturing Policy (ACMP), outlining incentives to attract investors into the component manufacturing sector.
The policy, he stated, would also support ‘artisans at Suame in Kumasi, Kokompe in Accra, and other enclaves to upgrade their capacity to fit in the automotive industry.
President Akufo-Addo expressed hope that the incentives granted to Rana Motors would translate into competitive pricing of motor vehicles for the Ghanaian consumer.
“We look forward to the transitioning of this assembly plant into a fully integrated vehicle production plant in Ghana,”President Akufo-Addo