Ghana - The OEM has signed memorandums of understanding with the governments of Ghana and Nigeria, revealing plans to build a plant in each country. VW thinks it could turn Nigeria into an "automotive hub," where it already operates a small facility with an output of around 5,000 vehicles a year. It also wishes to explore concepts such as ride-hailing and car-sharing in Ghana, with construction of the new plant here scheduled for 2019.
"Both memorandums of understanding demonstrate one thing: the seriousness with which Volkswagen takes its commitment to Africa," commented Thomas Schaefer, head of the Volkswagen sub-Saharan region. "We are well positioned. The situation on the continent has stabilised, and the economy is moving forward. The final hurdles for the development of the automotive industry there have been removed as a result. This is a great opportunity for us."
VW currently operates plants in several countries across Africa, including South Africa, Kenya and Ruanda. It was also recently announced that SEAT would lead the VW Group's efforts in North Africa, as it is currently making cars at a facility in Algeria.
Several other companies have also been investing in new manufacturing facilities across the continent. Mercedes-Benz, for example, recently announced it was spending €600m (US$528.84m) to construct a new paint shop and body shop at its East London plant in South Africa. Meanwhile, the Indian carmaker Mahindra opened a new vehicle assembly facility in Durban, South Africa, in order to make pick-ups.