Co-chairman of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Clement Boateng says negotiations are underway between his association and some car assembly plants established in Ghana.
In addition to Volkswagen, Sinotruk and Kantanka who have been operating assembly plants in Ghana, Nissan last month began the setting up of its plant in the country, as part of efforts to help develop Ghana’s automotive industry.
Speaking to Citi Business News on fears of job losses for persons in the used-car value chain in Ghana, Mr. Boateng urged local stakeholders to position themselves to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that the new plants come with.
“As I’m talking to you now, those assembly plants which will start assembling vehicles here have entered into negotiations with the association to try as much as possible to partner them to try the production of small spare parts for which raw materials can be found in the country. Every country within Africa wants industrialization, so if our President has facilitated the coming to Ghana automobile assemblers, then we have to take advantage of the opportunities that will come up.”
“I don’t share in the idea that the assembling of cars here will throw some of us out of work. Because even currently some of the car agents here come to us to buy parts for their cars. So their arrival will only open up more opportunities for us to enter into production and thereby create more jobs for our youth,” he added.
The automotive industry
In March this year, government made a strong case for the passage of a law that will formally lay the platform for Ghana’s automotive industry.
This was done through an amendment to the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891), which provides some incentives to Ghanaian car manufacturers through the Ghana Automotive Industry Policy. It also places a ban on salvage cars and second-hand cars of not more than ten years old.
According to government, the move is aimed at making Ghana the hub for Automotive Industry in the West African sub-region.
Already, Toyota and Suzuki have formally committed to set up car assembly plants in Ghana. This was after Nissan and Sinotruk also expressed an interest in Ghana, with Volkswagen already launching some locally made cars.
Currently, Ghana has three assembling plants, Volkswagen, Kantanka and the latest project by Japan Motors to assemble Nissan vehicles.
Ghana had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nissan Group of Africa for the establishment of automotive manufacturing industry in Ghana, which will make Ghana the hub for sales and marketing of Nissan in West Africa.
President Akufo-Addo, after the signing of the MoU, said the vehicle assembly plant will become operational in 2019. But the project was finally launched on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
Japan Motors launches Nissan assembling plant in Ghana
As part of efforts to develop Ghana’s automotive industry to serve both local and the African market, Japan Motors has also set up a Nissan assembly plant in the country.
According to stakeholders in the industry, the plant will promote skills development and job creation in Ghana.
The Managing Director of Japan Motors, Salem Kalmoni, at the launch of the project, promised to donate the first assembled Nissan pick-up to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, to support technical education.
“To show our commitment to cooperate and support technical education, and given this auspicious occasion, I am pleased to announce that Japan Motors and Nissan will be donating the first assembled Nissan pick-up to the premier Science and Technology University in Ghana, KNUST. We would like to congratulate them on being recently ranked as first university in Ghana and 12th in Africa. We will be donating this pick-up to their Mechanical Engineering department with the proviso that the vehicle be used for learning and training purposes only, and not as transport,” he announced.