German car maker, Volkswagen, has unveiled its first locally assembled cars, following the establishment of the VW Assembly Plant in Ghana.
The four locally assembled models include Passat, Tiguan Highline Plus, Teramont and the Amarok.
Speaking at the launch of the cars, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Motors, the company managing Volkswagen’s local assembly plant, Subhi Accad, indicated that his outfit is committed to ensuring premium quality.
“We understand the magnitude of task and challenge ahead of us particularly the stringent assembly processes and also the high-quality standards associated with the Volkswagen brand. We undertake and promise to live up to expectations”, he said.
The cars have a starting price of about 60,000 Ghana Cedis. The Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Ghana, Jeffery Oppong Peprah, explained why it is better to acquire these cars locally than to import them.
“The VW Tiguan we have here, in Europe you could have bought it for about 37,000 Euros, but here we selling it berween 32 and 34,000 Euros…”, he stated.
Government earlier this year set out to ban the importation of used vehicles that are older than 10 years old as well as salvage cars, otherwise referred to as ‘Accident Cars’ in Ghana.
As part of its plans, it has passed the Customs Amendment Bill, 2020, which is set to be fully implemented from October this year, despite resistance by car dealers in the country.
Government is set to lose about GHS802 million over the next three years when the law takes full effect.
The law is in line with government’s Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme, which seeks to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the programme.
Speaking at the ceremony to unveil the cars, President Akufo-Addo said government is committed to the success of the programme.
“I assure Volkswagen Ghana that the government will continue to support the company in diverse ways to ensure the sustainability and profitability of this venture in Ghana. To this end, the Chief of staff at the office of the President has issued recently, a new directive to all ministries departments and agencies and indeed to the Public Procurement Authority to give first preference to the acquisition of locally assembled vehicles when public funds are used to buy vehicles”, he added.