Volkswagen (VW) Ghana Limited has opened its vehicle assembly plant in the Tema Free Zone enclave in Ghana with a capacity of producing 5,000 plus cars and pickups annually.
Mr Jeffery Oppong Peprah, Managing Director of VW Ghana, at the commissioning, disclosed that the company has so far spent about eight million Euros in establishing a branch of the Germany Company in Ghana.
The Tema assembling facility is an upscale and a replacement for the previous one opened in Accra in August 2020. With this, Mr Peprah noted that having the plant in Tema is strategic as it provided them with space to expand. He added that their proximity to the Tema Port also give them a great advantage to export to other countries within the sub-region.
Mr Peprah indicated that VW is currently producing six of its brands in Ghana, namely, T-Cross, Teramount, Tiguan, Amarock, Passat, and Polo, which he said best fit the local market.
Touching on the quality of the cars being assembled in Ghana, Mr Peprah gave the assurance that the products are the same as those manufactured in other plants in South Africa and Germany. He added that the vehicles as part of standards checks, undergo suspension tests, and fuel quality tests, among others.
Managing Director of VW Ghana noted that even though the quality is the same, the prices are affordable due to the VAT-free incentive from the government to buyers of the locally assembled vehicles as well as the non-payment of import tax on the vehicles compared to the imported ones.
Mr Peprah commended the Government for the initiative on the automotive industry. According to him, countries that have developed, used automobiles as a backbone, adding that the Government must speed up the implementation of the remaining parts of the automotive policy to ensure they receive the benefits of their investments.
Ban On the Importation of Used Vehicles
Mr Peprah noted that the ban on the importation of used vehicles which have devastating effects on the environment and health is yet to be fully implemented by the Government. He noted that auto financing policies must also be rolled out to provide the needed support for potential buyers of locally assembled vehicles.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the caretaker Minister of Trade and Industry, and substantive Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, recalled that the establishment of the VW plant in Ghana was an offshoot from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed between the Government of Ghana and German Chancellor when she visited Ghana in 2018.
Mr Jinapor said the government showed its commitment to the MoU through the Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP) which was approved by Cabinet. He stated that currently, Ghana has six vehicle assembling plants producing nine brands of vehicles.
The caretaker Minister of Trade and Industry iterated that government knows the importance of the automotive industry to the growth of the economy. He asserted that it is a key strategic industry which provide skilled employment to the people, technology transfer, sustainable jobs, and local supply chain opportunities.
Mr Jinapor noted that the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development programme, which operates under his ministry is another initiative aimed at supporting the automotive industry and adding value to the country’s aluminium, bauxite and other minerals.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor gave an assurance that the automotive component manufacturing policy would be laid before Cabinet in a few days to provide the needed full support for the companies.
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