Kia Motors and an Ethiopian car company Belayab Motors to start producing cars in Ethiopia
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Sept. 23, 2016
One of the biggest South Korean car manufacturer, Kia Motors and an Ethiopian car company Belayab Motors PLC have signed a business agreement on Thursday to start assembling cars in Ethiopia. The South Korean car company Is also planning to expand to the rest of Africa. The company’s Middle East and Africa president Soon Nam Lee told Reuters his company is thinking opening similar plant in Algeria.
The car manufacturing plant in Ethiopia is located in the city of Adama in Oromia State just south of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The plant is scheduled to start producing its first cars in January 2016.
"We plan to produce 3,000 vehicles of three models every year," Fikadu Girma, Belayab's general manager, told Reuters, adding the amount could rise to 9,000 if extra shifts are added.
The company disclosed the Rio subcompact model and the Sportage sports utility vehicle are among the models that will be assembled at the Adama plant. Belayab Motors PLC will expand the plant at the cost of 150 million birr ($6.83 million) investment.
Despite the recent destabilizing efforts by Ethiopian enemies, Ethiopia’s economy is going forward in a full speed. The cities of Gonder and Bahirdar have been severely hurt by the latest demonstrations which also damaged private businesses, government institutions, and factories. The city of Gonder which was one of the destinations for tourists has been turned in to a war zone by some of the local people. It is counterproductive for the local people to be part of this madness which would be more hurtful to them in the long run.