Volkswagen has cut the ribbon on a new vehicle assembly facility in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
This makes Ghana the fifth Volkswagen vehicle assembly location in sub-Saharan Africa, with the other plants in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda.
The opening of the assembly facility in the West African country, which has a population of about 30-million people, is the realisation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which the German carmaker signedwith the government of Ghana nearly two years ago.
In turn, the Ghanaian government has fulfilled its MoU undertaking to develop a comprehensive automotive industry policy, through the recent promulgation of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP).
Volkswagen says the GADP has paved the way for the carmaker to make the initial investment in what it terms the “first phase of its long-term vehicle assembly plans”.
Universal Motors, a licensed Volkswagen importer in Ghana since 2005, has been awarded the assembly contract for the initial phase of the project.
The Universal Motors facility in Accra has an installed capacity to assembly 5 000 units a year. The models to be assembled, using semi-knocked-down (SKD) assembly kits, are the Tiguan, the Teramont, the Passat, the Polo and the Amarok.
“The opening of our vehicle assembly facility in Ghana is another exciting chapter of our expansion journey in the sub-Saharan Africa region,” says outgoing Volkswagen sub-Saharan region head and Volkswagen Group South Africa MD Thomas Schäfer.
Schäfer is the newly appointed head of ŠKODA Auto.
“This is a big step into establishing our presence in the West African region,” says Schäfer.
“I wish to commend the government of Ghana, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Akufo-Addo, for introducing a comprehensive policy that is set to transform the automotive industry in West Africa.”
Schäfer adds that Volkswagen is committed to helping Ghana to develop a modern automotive industry as part of the country’s industrial transformation agenda.
Schäfer has also announced the establishment of Volkswagen Ghana, which is the first automotive company to be registered under the GADP.
Volkswagen Ghana is a 100% subsidiary of Volkswagen.
It is a registered assembler and will be responsible for the import of the SKD kits and fully built units.
Jeffrey J Oppong Peprah has been appointed CEO.