By Moses Sserwanga
Kampala-By keeping to its promise to put homemade Carson the market, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) Uganda’s pioneer automotive manufacturing company has announced that it is now taking orders to produce buses in 2018.
This would create opportunities for schools and bus companies to buy home made products. It is also envisaged that this would cut costs of shipping for the bus companies when they are locally produced but with international standards.
The company’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing Allan Muhumuza, said: “Just like all other Ugandans, we are excited about the prospect that a Ugandan car production company Kiira Motors Corporation is now taking orders to produce buses next year.”
“We had planned to start production in 2018 and we are now taking orders of buses for production in 2018. We have internally built the necessary capacity to make vehicles in Uganda and now is the time to have Vehicles Made in Uganda on the road,” Muhumuza added.
According to Muhumuza, already a number of prospective buyers mainly private school owners and tourism companies have expressed interest in the locally made buses that are expected to hit the market next year.
Kiira Motors Corporation was incorporated as private company for the development of Motor vehicles in Uganda.
Uganda government through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) and Makerere University having 96 per cent and 4 per cent shares jointly owns it.
The company was set up to champion automotive manufacturing in Uganda. And the company’s ultimate objective and mission has always been Vehicles Made in Uganda.
Already a price has been set for one to buy, he/she would pay from Shilling 120 million depending on the features and capacity of each bus.
“The KMC products will be competitively priced. Buses on the market are typically priced about Shillings 250,000,000 and above but ours will be reasonably much lower and tailored to the customer’s needs,” Muhumuza explained.
One of the buses that hit Kampala streets recently. Internet photos
He said that the company will also place great emphasis and care about the quality of the buses and other vehicles that will be produced by the company.
“KMC’s value proposition emphasizes quality of the products to internationally acceptable standards through the value chain in order to build a sustainable automotive industry not only in Uganda, East African Community and Africa but on the global scale,” he added.
With the production of vehicles made in Uganda, the country is set to benefit enormously in terms of economic growth and national development. Industry experts have indicated that the estimated KMC’s contribution to GDP is USD 247 million. The direct impact of the capital investment in the economy is USD 13 million resulting into an indirect impact of USD 13,601,629.
The induced effect creates an additional USD 5 million due to increase in purchasing power, this leads to additional business sales in other sectors.The direct household incomes earned from the KMC Plant investment is USD 50 million with the indirect and induced effects of USD 114 million and USD 50 million giving a total of USD 215 million.
In addition to the macro economic growth contribution, KMC investment is set to create anestimated over 856 jobs: 403 out of the operational expenditure and 453 due to the capital expenditure. KMC shall employ Automotive Industry Experts in the fields of Engineering, Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales, Legal, Finance, Leadership and Management among others.
“Ugandans shouldbegin placing orders of KMC buses and position themselves in the opportunities created to contribute to the value chain as suppliers and artisans. Many jobs will be created across the automotive Industry value chain once the KMC vehicles hit the market,” Muhumuza said.
The Automotive Value Chain is an enabler for wealth creation from the opportunities it presents right from Tier III suppliers to service centers.
One of the Kayoola buses.
The KMC Investment is expected to catalyze backward and forward linkages with other sectors, thereby ensuring more domestic value addition. These include oil by-products; the Steel and Sheet Glass Industries for Body Parts; Textiles and Leather Industries for Interior Trim Components; amongst others. The formation of robust industrial linkages is vital to successful industrialization and economic development.
KMC championing green mobility in Uganda and Africa
Kiira Motors Corporation who have been internationally acclaimed for the innovation in green mobility technologies made Africa’s first electric solar bus, the Kayoola Solar Bus in 2016, the Kiira EV SMACK hybrid in 2014 and the Kiira EV in 2011.
“Green mobility technology forms a core ingredient of the Kiira Motors vision, a strategic contributor to the realization of a differentiated Mission Vehicles Made in Uganda. KMC is going into market with buses. These buses can be electric or diesel dependent on the customer requirements,” he explained.
KMC is going to market with Buses first but the company will continue to expand its product portfolio to Pick Up Trucks, SUVs, Sedans, Light and Medium Duty Trucks.The lead time for development of a bus will be 3-4 months.