At present, Africa is replete with amazing and inspiring innovation. Everything points to young people driven by sheer ambition and a willingness to transcend negative narratives about innovation birthed in Africa. In a world that is increasingly demanding new products, a new car company called Mureza Auto Company has stepped up to the job.
The new car brand based in South Africa has announced its arrival on the highly competitive auto market with its Prim8 (pronounced Primate) model that was just recently unveiled. It is a crossover hatchback. It was unveiled as a prototype at the Automechanika Expo at Nasrec in Johannesburg from September 18 to 21. The initial development by Mureza is being done in collaboration with the second-largest car company in Iran, the SAIPA group. The SAIPA group is bringing to the table platforms and components.
Mureza harbors solid intentions to ultimately become independent, and hope that the Prim8 crossover hatchback will later result in a half-tonne bakkie, sedan and compact SUV at some point in the future.
The target price of the new car model by Mureza will be between R180,000 and R200,000, coming with a 3-year warranty. It will be assembled in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, and in Willowvale, Harare (Zimbabwe). Another plant being used is the former Hyundai plant in Botswana.
The overall mission of Mureza is designing affordable cars designed specifically for African needs- but such production is intended to be done locally with the backing of UAE financiers.
Mureza CEO Tatenda Mungofa from Zimbabwe said, "SA is seen as the hub of the automotive business in Africa and it is for this reason that we are using this country as our headquarters and first assembly plant," said Mungofa.
"We are looking at co-operating with smaller component suppliers who are not yet able to handle big production runs and our business will help them grow their businesses."
"We are also looking for local entrepreneurs to get involved with the various facets of our business to give it a true African flavor."
"Mureza means ‘flag’ and we want to be the flag-wavers for the indigenous African motor industry. We want to be like Henry Ford who replaced horses with affordable cars. In our case, it will be replacing imported used cars with affordable cars made in Africa."
It is pretty much promising to witness the journey of the new model. Some of its specifications feature keyless entry, 17cm touchscreen, Bluetooth, satnav, reversing camera, cruise control, parking sensors, audio system, air conditioning, power-adjustable driver’s seat, four airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes, and tyre pressure monitoring.
Header image credit - carmag.co.za