African automobile start-up, Mureza Auto Company will officially launch its debut offering, the Primate (Mureza Prim8) in South Africa next month before launching it in Zimbabwe in the first quarter of 2020, 263Chat Business has established.
Mureza, is a Shona word that means “Flag” and at the core of the project is Zimbabwean entrepreneur, Tatenda Mungofa who is determined to shake the African motor market.
Powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine, the medium sized hatchback suits any personality, city life and country style.
For technical support, Mureza is in partnership with Iran-based company, SAIPA Group which has been in the car manufacturing business for over 50 years.
Next after the Prim8 will be a half-ton bakkie and a Mini SUV in the short term while five more designs are currently in the studio and expected to come out next year.
“The launch of the Primate is scheduled for November this year in South Africa, however the same in Zimbabwe will be in the first quarter of 2020. Exact dates and venues will be announced in due course,” Mureza Events Co-ordinator, Chido Nemhara told 263Chat Business.
“Considering that our technical partner is based in SA, it was the most suitable starting point that wouldn’t negatively affect the cost of production. Ultimately this means the vehicles are more affordable for the consumer,” she added.
The company plans to set up plant in Zimbabwe next year at Mazda Willowvale Plant in Harare and in Botswana as it spreads it footprint into the vast region.
Mureza premiered its Prim8 at the Expo Centre at Nasrec at Automechanika, Johannesburg last month.
The initiative is inspired by the huge void between new cars and second used vehicles in most African nations.
In Zimbabwe for instance, the second hand Japanese cars have dominated the market, shoving out of business local car assemblers such as Madza Willowvale and Quest Motors.
However the biggest attributing factor is the affordability of second hand cars as compared to brand new cars that remain beyond the reach of most consumers.
Government has in recent years indicated its desire to boost local car manufacturers and also attract investment into the sector.
In 2018, government announced the Zimbabwe Motor Industry Development Policy (ZMIDP) expected to ramp up capacity from current levels of 10 percent to full capacity utilization by 2030.