With an ever growing consumer and middle class, people throughout Africa are earning more spending power and love for brand products. Ford seeing the huge market potential, is increasing its investment and presence in Africa. Africa is the last untapped big market for major corporations and Ford has announced 17 new vehicles designed for sub-Saharan Africa. The models, all to be introduced by 2016, draw on Ford’s car heritage and global vehicle architectures deigned for the African consumer in mind.
“Middle East and Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth,” said Ford’s regional chief Jim Benintende. According to Ford’s projections, car sales are expected to grow by 40% in the coming decade in the region. Ford isn’t the only car manufacturer looking to expand in Africa. PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is French based, reopened closed planet in Nigeria. Chinese brands are also increasing their presence . GM, Toyota, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz have all over the years paid more attention, increased investment in Africa, after seeing all it’s potential. Ford is making sure that they aren’t left in the slow lane trying to catch up with the competition.
Johannesburg recently held its annual motor show. The show (also popularly known as the Joburg Motor Show) is the single largest international automotive event in Southern Africa. The exhibition (held once every two years) runs in conjunction with two additional shows ‘Auto Shop’ and the ‘Johannesburg Truck Show’ which collectively offer a complete representation of the motor industry, serving Sub Saharan Africa and South Africa as host country. This event takes place at the MTN Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg, and is a comprehensive automotive lifestyle show case.
Here is a video promo of the event
The African car industry is poised for growth as more people move up the social economic class. The new consumers throughout the continent are a bright spot for car companies such as Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Ford and General Motors.
Nissan is planning to launch its entirely electric car Nissan Leaf in South Africa in 2013.
The current World and European Car of the Year is on show at the Johannesburg International Motor Show and according to SA Managing Director Mike Whitfield will be brought to South Africa ‘as soon as government policies allow’.
The Nissan Leaf, released in 2010, is available to buy in countries keen to embrace eco-friendly vehicles and reduce their carbon footprint across Europe, Japan and the US and has sold more than 12,000 units so far.
Nissan has been in talks with the South African government over a potential launch within the next couple of years if the market is deemed ready.
“I am delighted to announce that we are intending to bring the Nissan Leaf to South Africa in 2013, subject to confirmation of government policy on charging infrastructure and customer incentives,” said Whitfield.
“This very special car is the world’s first mass-market EV, and has already brought affordable, practical and enjoyable zero-emission mobility to thousands of people.”
Expect more car brands to follow suit as more growth is expected to come from African nations, which have younger demographics and growing consumers with more disposable income to spend. Here is some background information about the Leaf from Nissan’s Director of Product Planning and Advanced Technology Strategy, Mark Perry.