GHANA – Chinese vehicle manufacturing company Sinotruk, has begun assembling its plants under the Automotive Development Policy by government.

According to Ghana’s Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, there are a number of other car manufacturing companies that have also begun assembling their plants and are start producing vehicles soon.

Mr Nkrumah said that the German car giant Volkswagen is scheduled to start operations in the first quarter of 2020 intends to roll out its vehicles.

The Japanese car maker, Toyota on the other hand, is expected to roar to life in August 2020 while Suzuki’s plant will start functioning before the end of 2020.

Nissan is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2020.

The minister also revealed that the state was still discussing with Renault, Kia and Hyundai on the possibilities of setting up car production facilities in Ghana.

Oppong-Nkrumah further revealed that Ghana had plans to make second-hand car dealers’ distributors of the cars assembled in Ghana by the automobile companies.

According to him, the move was in line with the decision by government to pass a bill that will ban the importation of overaged and accident vehicles into the country.

The decision to ban car imports has, however, been criticized by citizens and some legislators who argue that it will deny many people their livelihoods.

“We have an opportunity to explore ways of onboarding them to become the new dealers of these vehicles assembled in Ghana,” Nkurumah said.

He added that in the end, Ghana will be able to develop a local industry for its own locally manufactured cars, create jobs, and bring more safety on our roads.

On the mode of pricing for consumers, he said that the government will put in place the modalities to ensure that the prices of the locally assembled cars will be affordable.

“In the investment plan that they will bring, we will negotiate with them on the sales parameters and the sales prices so that we are assured that they are not pricing out the Ghanaian,” Oppong Nkrumah assured.

Ghana under the Ministry of Trade and Industry earlier put in place the Automotive Development Policy to support the establishment of an automotive assembly and component manufacturing industry, as a strategic anchor of industrialisation and a new pillar of growth in Ghana.

The initial coverage of vehicles to be assembled under the policy includes new passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles which would include pickups, minibuses and cargo vans.

Additional policy interventions will be introduced in the course of implementation for assembling medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and for the assembly of buses.