Mobius Motors – famous for its made in Africa, for Africa SUVs – on Thursday, January 21 officially opened its new factory in Industrial Area, Nairobi.
The new plant is expected to see production of the firm’s Mobius II vehicle ramped up. Mobius Motors is backed by a number of international investors, including the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which put in Ksh500 million in 2018 for the new plant.
With the company aiming to produce a mass market car for Africa, a start to finish assembly line had been a key priority and its launch is seen as a major milestone. The plant is also expected to boost Mobius’ research and development capabilities.
The company previously partnered with the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) to build the vehicles at their Thika facility. Mobius Motors was founded by British entrepreneur Joel Jackson – now based in Nairobi.
Among those who were present for the launch of the new plant were Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chair Mucai Kunyiha.
The assembly line for passenger vehicles at the facility incorporates fabrication, body shop, paint shop, general assembly, and final line testing.
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The company had previously disclosed that the new factory would adhere to global best practices and adopt world class technology – including CNC laser-cut steel for the space frame, magnetic particle test equipment for weld quality and complete end-of-line testing equipment.
“The Automotive Sector is strategically placed to support the country’s socio-economic goals. It supports in generating government revenue, creating economic development, encouraging people development, & fostering Research and Development and innovation,” KAM noted while welcoming the plant.
Badi, on the other hand, noted that the plant would provide employment opportunities even as he underlined government efforts to create a conducive environment for innovation and business.
“NMS is cognizant of the need of a conducive business environment especially in the country’s capital home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over a hundred major international companies and organizations hence its continued efforts to implement mandated functions,” he noted.
The company’s flagship vehicle, the Mobius II, is available from around Ksh1.3 million.
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The vehicle is designed to be durable, and includes a robust space-frame as the key structural element, rugged suspension and a high-efficiency engine combining 16 valves and VVT (Variable Valve Timing).
The company’s innovation is not limited to vehicles. In 2020, for instance, Mobius built a ventilator to aid in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.