Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Mobius Motors: The African Built SUV [CARS]
Mobius Motors designs, manufactures and sells durable, affordable vehicles for Africa's mass market. We are reimagining the car; designing our vehicles around common road terrain, transport usage and consumer income profiles across the region.
American billionaire Ronald Lauder has reportedly provided start-up capital to Mobius Motors, a startup Kenyan car-manufacturing company that plans to build Africa’s cheapest car. Developed by 29 year-old Kenyan computer engineer Joel Jackson, will cost $10,000. Jackson and his team had initially planned for the car to cost $6,000, but as a result of the increasing cost of procuring steel spare parts, Mobius has had to raise its selling price to $10,000 to make the product commercially viable. But even at $10,000, Jackson believes his car is a preferable option to acquiring a pre-owned vehicle for the same amount.
According to a report by Kenya’s Business Daily, Lauder, who is worth about $3.8 billion, is offering Mobius Motors an undisclosed amount in debt which is convertible to equity. Mobius will use the money to assemble its first 50 units and establish a distribution network in Kenya.The most common vehicles across regions like East Africa are imported from more developed countries such as Japan, UAE and India. These vehicles are designed for areas with good road infrastructure - they are not built for an African environment. High import duties also make these vehicles relatively expensive.
To serve the African mass market, Mobius has built a car around the needs of local consumers.
The vehicles have the key functionality and durability of an off-road car, fit for travelling and carrying goods for long distances on bumpy dirt roads. The price is similar to a seven year old sedan vehicle, which is not designed to operate on degraded terrain reliably, nor carry the heavier loads common among consumers in these areas.
Mobius aims to empower transport entrepreneurs across Africa not just with more appropriate vehicles, but with the financing and business advice needed to operate a sustainable transport business, with interior than can be configured to haul either people or 1,100 pounds of cargo.
Learn more about Mobius Motors HERE.