Namibia back on auto manufacturing road

After at least two attempts to establish a motor assembly operation in Namibia, the country has a third chance - Groupe PSA and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) have signed an agreement to assemble Opel and Peugeot vehicles in Walvis Bay.

According to a statement issued by the two parties, assembly will start later this year, with a targeted annual volume of 5 000 units for the Southern African Customs Union market by 2020.

Either South African sales are expected to grow strongly, or the take-up is expected to be strong in other countries in the region.

According to the National Automobile Association of South Africa (Naamsa), Peugeot sold 135 vehicles in February this year, and Opel 231.

This will help boost volumes from Europe to Walvis Bay. Initial production will be of the crossover Opel Grandland X and Peugeot 3008, which are based on the same platform.

Other products will follow to meet customer demand, according to the company.

Walvis Bay previously housed a company assembling white label light delivery vehicles mainly for the Angolan market, and there were also reported to be advanced plans for the Namibian Barden Group to assemble General Motors vehicles that were shelved in 2014.

Groupe PSA executive vice president for Middle East and Africa Region Jean-Christophe Quemard says "This investment in Namibia is part of the long-term strategy of Groupe PSA to increase its sales in Africa and the Middle East, consistent with our target to sell one million vehicles in 2025.

“This new capacity will serve regional markets with products in line with our Opel and Peugeot customer expectation”.

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