A JOINT Japanese and Zimbabwean business delegation is on a two-day visit to Zambia to look at possibilities of establishing a motor vehicle assembly and service plant in Ndola.
The six man delegation led by Japan’s Itochu Corporation automobile business expert, Hitoshi Nakajima and Zimbabwe’s Motec Holdings, group managing director, Benjamin Khumalo, will study the existing motor business opportunities in Zambia.
Yesterday the delegation paid a courtesy call on Ndola mayor, Anthony Katongo.
“We cannot state the exact amount of money we hope to invest in Zambia but all I can say as at now is that we are here in Ndola looking for opportunities in the motor industry and we are working in collaboration with Pilatus Engineering Company,” Mr Khumalo said.
Mr Khumalo said the delegation would visit some of the country’s motor vehicle assembly plants such as those once owned by Leyland Motors and Rover Zambia in Ndola.
The two plants have been non-operational for more than a decade.
He said the group would like to set up a Mazda assembly plant and also offer motor vehicle service and dealership facilities for various Japanese made cars and trucks.
The delegation, which consists of motor industry and business experts has targeted the fast growing motor trade in Zambian.
Mr Khumalo said the delegation was visiting Ndola because it was the country’s major industrial centre.
He said once the plant was established, his company would study the prospects of servicing the lucrative Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
And welcoming the delegation to Ndola, Mr Katongo said the Copperbelt offered a wide market to any business initiatives.
Mr Katongo said Ndola, which was the country’s industrial centre, was now recovering from economic recession.
He said some companies that had left the town like Tata Zambia had returned and reopened the bus and truck assembly plant.
The mayor said Ndola was well placed to house vehicle assembly plants because it had an internationally acclaimed training centre, the Nothern Technical College (NORTEC).

[Times of Zambia]

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The government tax regime on imported motor vehicle actually support a viable motor assembling plant. Look at it this way; You buy a second hand 1995 small Mazda from trust company at 2000D and ship it for another 1800D. Govt charges on cost & freight-vat, import tax, carbon emmission tax etc brings the total cost of such a car to 8000Dollars.Someone paying this much for a 1995 vehicle can pay an extra 2000Dollars for a brand new car.Just that there have been no buismen willing to invest and wait a while. Furthermore, there is no industrial base that can mould our steel and iron into usable & standard bolts & nuts etc. Zambia has resources to assemble 80% of a car.Our engeeners are dead!

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  2. It is true! Its time we further raised taxes on second hand vehicles except for those that we need to drive the economy forward such as trucks and other utility vehicles. These Japanese would rush to Zed if they heard that China has several economic free zones in Africa for manufacturing cars! For now, they are happy dumping old model vehicles which even pollute the environment! In their place, more carbon efficient vehicles are being manufactured, experimental hybrid vehicles to utilise hydrogen are coming up, the scrap yards take up old vehicles in quotas at a fee! It is actually cheaper if not profitable to put them in Africa, after all environmentalists only worry about conserving whales

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  3. Is there something wrong with the way this story reads? Zimbabwean and Japanese? where are the Zambians? As usual they will just be consumers of the products while the Zimbabwean and Japanese shareholders take the profits home…

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  4. # is a case of how a particular market appeals to you and nothing to do with the abscence of zambians. Yes, the story reads well to me.

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  5. Zambian entreprenours are only active when money is on the table from “donors”. these guys, like most of our engineers are as inactive as Levy’s brain. Zambia has so many things that need to be done, and yet the engineers have let the lawyers take over. This is why the country is in the dumps.

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  6. Muntuza, i stand to be corrected, but no matter how appealing the Zimbabwean market is for you as a Zambian, you will never be allowed to parachute in there with other foreigners to make money and externalise it without a Zimbabwean stakeholder. My point is let us as a country make sure that wealth being created on our soil comes to us also in one form or another, not merely being consumers.

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  7. It takes a lot of courage to go into business because of immense risks involved. That is why instead of most of us thinking about entrepreneurship, it is easier to think about building a structure in Kanyama and organize a 5-acre small-holding in Mwachisompola in preparation for old age. For all his weaknesses, I think it is a bit unfair to criticize our president for not flogging every Zambian in the street into business. Entrepreneurs are not manufactured, these are individuals taking personal risk for future wealth. Go to Soweto market and see the creativity that happens there, and you won’t tell me that Mwanawasa put those traders there! Our engineers need to be creative as well!!

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  8. yet another setback to our development – we never learn, do we? you can’t have a country with investors from countries that don’t give two hoots about you comae in a dance with you dimwits. i acn’t call myself zambian wihtout wincing these days.

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  9. assembly plant bring them, even South Africa thats how they started. between 1991 and 2001 a lot of viable industries where closed by chiluba and sata. as a country we can’t even manufacture a simple black and white CRT, T.V

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