Kenyan made car tested off road in Namibia

Chamwe Kaira

An adventurous couple, Paul Simkin and his wife Pauline Vaughan bought a Kenyan made car, Mobius 111 and decided to travel from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi through Southern Africa countries including Namibia.

Simkin and Vaughan were this week still on their Southern Africa adventure. Their Namibian leg of the of the adventure was described as breathtaking. The couple drove off road in Namibia to experience the roads and the natural beauty of Namibia.

“They are currently in Namibia enjoying the off-road experience with Mobius 111. The photos and scenes are breathtaking,” said Mobius Motors, the makers of the car. The couple will then travel to South Africa on the final legal of the tour. They have already been to Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana.

According to Mobius Motors, Mobius 111 is built to traverse the variable road terrain of Africa, from everyday city driving to off-road adventures.

Mobius Motors production facility is based in Nairobi and designs and manufactures durable, affordable vehicles for Africa.

The plant was commissioned in mid-2018 and will provide Mobius with end-to-end production capabilities that include fabrication of the vehicle frame, anti-corrosion treatment, painting, general assembly, plus final inspection and quality testing.

Financing for the factory was provided by equity investors and a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the development finance institution of the United States. Mobius 111 retails from US $34,000) excluding VAT.

The firm was founded by British entrepreneur Joel Jackson, who saw a niche for the Mobius while working in rural Kenya in 2009.

In contrast, here in Namibia, French automaker PSA Automobiles SA is involved in a legal battle with the Namibian government because it says the government has not honored its earlier commitment to help the company compete favorably in the southern African market. The Walvis Bay based company is owned by the French company with 51% while government owns the remaining 49%

PSA Automobiles SA claims in legal documents in the High Court that the government owes it close to N$80 million as a result of not honoring several agreements.

The plant opened in 2018 and was expected to reach output capacity of 5 000 vehicles per year. The initial models made were the Opel Grandland X and Peugeot 3008.

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