Road density in Africa is only at 7% according to results posted by Gallup in 2008. In rural African areas, vehicles are forced to drive over uneven tracks of dirt with potholes and rocks making transportation extremely unsafe and impractical. This forces many people to resort to walking to acquire basic necessities and services like education and healthcare.
Enter Mobius motors, a company that’s making a vehicle optimized for the rural African terrain. With a focus on what the typical African consumer needs the most in a car – good suspension, handling, and passenger capacity, while removing unneeded features like air-conditioning and a luxurious interior, they’ve built a vehicle that has the potential to disrupt the African vehicle market. With a competitive price point (the vehicle costs an equivalent $10,000 USD), it’s an attractive investment for many local African entrepreneurs that are seeking more efficient ways of transportation.
According to Mobius motors, the transportation market in Africa is valued at $60 billion annually, but 98% of vehicles are imported. Their strategy is to sell the vehicles to the middle-class (who are able to afford the vehicles) who can then provide services to those in the lower-class. Some these services include delivering food, water, and providing public transportation. Compared to the current transportation alternatives in Africa – Rickshaws, minivans, and motor bikes, the Mobius vehicle performs better overall when considering affordability, safety, power & handling, capacity, design & comfort, and storage.
They planned to sell 50 vehicles at the beginning of 2013, increasing production in the following 2 years to serve the broader Kenyan market. In 2015, their goal is to sell over 30,000 vehicles with further plans to open a large factory to achieve economies of scale. They cite social benefits of enhancing the transportation infrastructure in Africa as people will have better access to schools, health centers, and farms.
For more detail, check out the Mobius motors website