Volkswagen will finally make a reality of its Sub Saharan Africa objective by setting base in Rwanda. Volkswagen has already registered Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda Company.
The company will commence on offering integrated automotive solutions under Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). The VWSA represent Volkswagen in Africa’s Sub Sahara region and assumes all responsibilities on behalf of the main automotive company.
The Chairman who is also the Managing director of VWSA, Thomas Schaefer confirmed that they have already registered Volkswagen Mobility Solutions in Rwanda. Volkswagen and Rwanda Development Board had signed a Memorandum of Association in December 2016. The MOU granted permission to Volkswagen to carry out a study to plan a business case in the provision of automotive mobility solutions in Rwanda. This project will be Volkswagen’s first worldwide.
The Chairman confirmed that the study is complete and they are ready to start operation in Rwanda. In addition to registration, the automotive company has also identified a building from which they will operate from in Kigali. He also stated that Volkswagen is committed to realizing the full project by providing unique automotive mobility solutions.
In a statement, VWSA listed their reasons for choosing Rwanda. Among them were the young population which is into tech-savvy, a 7% rate of the fast growing economy, zero corruption tolerance and political stability. Rwanda is also leading in technology and innovation with its government via RDB welcome and supporting Volkswagen plans. The country also needs modern solutions to mobility issues.
In the first phase, Volkswagen will focus on setting up a vehicle assembly operation in Kigali, starting a company for local Mobility Services and setting up sales and manufacturing of Volkswagen automotive entities. They will also set up operation of assembling vehicles, a training center and service and sales structure. They will also be offering new mobility solutions in the first phase of the project. With a start-up this year, the facility from which the company is operating has an annual installation of up to 5000 units for starters. Sedan, Passat, a Hatchback Polo and possibly Teramont are among Volkswagen’s initial products.
Volkswagen will oversee production and retail operations under an MOU signed with CFAO similar to the agreement about their presence in the Kenyan market. This also includes importing into market other Volkswagen models to be sold in Rwanda market.
The mobility solutions company in Rwanda is expected to create 500 to 1000 employment opportunities for the Rwanda people. They will be absorbed in production, administration, service, sales and training departments. Drivers will also be employed. Awesome Lab, a start-up company, dealing with software development has been contracted to develop Volkswagen mobility App. Bookings, payment, and other mobility services will be accessed from the custom made App. The company is also looking to engage potential suppliers from Rwanda.
VWSA will spend up to $20 million in phase one of the company. RDB via its CEO expressed delight in welcoming and working with Volkswagen in Rwanda.