Five car companies you won't believe are African


1) Kantanka Automobile Company Limited 

The striking elegant look of the SUV cars made by Kantanka is just marvellous.  One can easily mistake them for the high-quality cars made by German or Japanese car giants.

All the SUVs spot a five-pointed star on a chrome grill. Kantanka Automobile Company Limited is a Ghanaian company whose roots can be traced to as early as 1994, founded by Apostle Kwado Safo Kantanka.

The company produces about 70 cars per year with prices starting around $18000 USD. It is still a new player in the game but with Africa's ever-increasing demand for cars the sky is the limit.


2) Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC)

KMC is a Ugandan car company whose origins can be dated back to 2007 as it started as a University project competition hosted by Massachusetts Institute of technology in which the only participating African competitor was the  University of Makerere. The company makes electric and hybrid vehicles.

One of their products which drew the attention of car fanatics around the country and Africa at large was the battery/solar powered Kayoola bus prototype, the 35 seater has an electric range of 80km and 12km range extender from the roof-mounted panels.

You can easily spot the Kiira vehicles by their unmistakable logo which features the crowned crane, the national bird of Uganda also found on the national flag.

3) Mobius Motors 

Mobius Motors is an off-road focussed car manufacturer. The Kenyan car company, established in 2010, produces Jeep-like SUVs which are made for the harsh African terrain.

The cars lack power steering and other quirky features in a bid to save money for them to be affordable to Africans.


4) Laraki Automobiles 

Founded in Morocco the car company was established in 1999 by Mohamed Laraki. The Laraki is by far the poshest car on this list with the Laraki Epitome concept which was unveiled in 2013 with a total estimated production of 9 units, French Montana has already pre-ordered one. One unit will have a starting retail price of about $2 million USD.


5) AVM Africa  

AVM is a Zimbabwean conventional bus and truck manufacturer based in the capital city, Harare. Despite the economic hardships the country has faced in recent decades the company has somehow managed to survive thanks to its close cooperation with the government of Zimbabwe.


The company occasionally gets tenders to produce trucks and buses for the Army, Police and other government parastatals like the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO). After a few years of dormancy, the company recently reopened under the management of Jacob Z Kupa with the target set being 40 buses a month.


Africa has been lagging behind when it comes to engineering and innovation but with companies like Kiira pushing the limits of vehicle technology, Africa can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Critics have questioned whether the cars are 100% made in Africa claiming that some of the above-mentioned car manufacturers are just assemblies but big companies like Daimler AG (Mercedes Benz parent company) do not make all their car parts instead contractors like Magna Steyr actually make parts for different brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz, parts like electronics, windshields and brakes are produced by specialized companies, they are then assembled at their respective factories to make the whole car. This dismisses the critiques since contracting manufacturers is not new in the automotive industry.

With the proposed 2022 African Continental Free Trade Area which is set to boost intra African trade by 52%, bringing these cars to your home may be easier than ever.


Written by Mbekezeli Kevin

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