Kenya’s first homegrown SUV manufacturer Mobius Motors is reportedly plotting an entry into Uganda and Tanzania as it looks to capture market share across East Africa.
The firm produces vehicles designed for Africa and its terrain, while also offering style and functionality. In 2021, it unveiled a new start-to-finish assembly line in Nairobi seen as an integral part of the company’s plan to produce mass market vehicles for Africa.
The firm launched its new generation SUV, the Mobius 3, in August 2021. It is an upgrade on the earlier bare-bones design, offering more in the way of aesthetics, design, tech and functionality.
The Mobius 3 costs Ksh3.9 million. It received great auto industry reviews at the time of its launch.
Mobius Motors hopes its affordable SUVs will be able to compete with imports from Japan, the UK and elsewhere which currently dominate the market in Kenya. Their hopes are boosted by the fact that prices of imported second-hand cars have been on the rise.
Over the past six months, second-hand car prices are up 37%. The increase has been fueled by multiple factors including the global semiconductor shortage and other biting raw material shortages that have seen major car manufacturers scale down production of new vehicles.
This has led to more purchases of second-hand cars in markets where Kenya imports its used cars from, such as Japan and the UK.
Mobius is backed by a number of institutional investors, including the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which put in Ksh500 million in 2018 for the new plant.
The firm wants to ramp up production in 2022 as it looks to meet demand for locally produced or assembled vehicles.
The Mobius 3 features a 4-cylinder, inline engine with capacity of 2000cc. It includes 6-speed automatic transmission, 4 Wheel Drive, power steering rack and safety features including Dual Airbags, ABS and EBD.