$175m Chinese brand vehicle-assembling plant on course

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GONOW Zambia Limited is expected to start the construction of a US$175 million motor vehicle-assembling plant after the approval by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in September.

Last year, Gonow motor vehicle, a Chinese brand in Zambia, had submitted an environmental impact assessment for review to ZEMA for the proposed construction of a motor vehicle-assembling plant at Lusaka South multi-facility economic zone (LS-MFEZ).

The last major motor vehicle manufacturing plant Zambia had was Livingstone Motor Assembly, which closed in 1992.

In an interview on Friday, Gonow Zambia Limited director Gerald Makungu said the plant, which will sit on 2.5 hectares, is expected to open up many opportunities including business and partnership prospects, job creation and will further improve the livelihood of the populace.

Mr Makungu is optimistic that the construction of the plant will help spearhead industrialisation in Zambia, improve competition and wealth creation.

“We are very happy that we will soon start the construction of the plant immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony anytime soon… Our partners, Forland from China, are currently in the country to witness the ground-breaking ceremony.

“We are confident that the creation of the plant will help steer the economic growth. We have already engaged a contractor, Wah Kong Enterprises Limited, which is expected to employ about 70 locals in the construction phase and building will take about six month,” he said.

It is anticipated that the company will assemble 20 vehicles a day for distribution within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mr Makungu is encouraged that Government is facilitating and promoting the growth of the private sector.

He said the establishment of the plant is a milestone in the development of the motor industry in Zambia, and in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, SADC and the East African Community.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. These PF promises never come to fruit,, am still waiting for that State of art train which was also announced as soon coming years ago,,,, oh what about the cheap Saudi oil??!!! ,,, the least is endless

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    • When countries like Australia are shutting down car assembly plants because of costs yet we are trying to start assembly plants for cars. I would be happy to have an assembly plant for Agric equipment. Ninshi chapwa twawina ba zambia.

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    • @1.2 House fly..I am with you on the need to look at how we can cheaply and quickly mechanize our agriculture so that we can be competitive at the regional and global levels. This thing of thinking of consumption before production is what is sinking our economy into even deeper waters!!

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    • @1.2 AUSTRALIA IS A MANUFACTURING HOUSE. ASSEMBLING DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO THEM. THEY MAKE THEIR OWN VEHICLES ALL MACHINERY YOU MAY THINK OF INCLUDING PLANES. DIFFERENTIATE DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING YOUR DESIGNS FROM ASSEMBLING. AUSTRALIA DOES NOT CLOSE DOWN THEIR OWN DESIGNED AND MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS. ZAMBIA DOES NOT MANUFACTURE ANY CAR (MACHINERY). SO, ASSEMBLING WITH GOOD GOVERNMENT POLICIES CAN TRIGGER OWN DESIGNS OF CARS.

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  2. This is the kind of new that we need to be hearing and not Lungu locking in opposition leaders thru his PF police. We need different car plants to assemble or manufacture cars to keep prices down. Ban import of second hand cars after the plant starts.

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  3. Considering the Brand it will still be a better Option to buy DOT.COM …well established safety ratings and standards etc. albeit only government will be the Biggest or only customer. With the current economic fundamentals continuing for a while, Vehicle asset financing will not be accessible to most doing legit business

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  4. @Housefly, just because car assembly plants are shutting in Australia because the car owners want to move out because of labour costs does not mean we should not have car assembly plants in Zambia. @Shameless, if GRZ gets people with brains like Clive Chirwa, they can dictate on the safety features which we need in Zambia. @corncerned, don’t worry about the assembly flopping. this is the time to bring bright minds together so that if the project fops, we can develop our own car using the technology we’ll learn from the Chinese.

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  5. if we fail to do anything, Kenya and Ethiopia will assemble them and we will be buying from them. let us for once support this good project even some of us detest Lungu and PF’s violence and harassment of the opposition

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  6. What type and model of vehicles are going to be assembled in Zambia by this Chinese company. Are the types of vehicles which are going to be assembled popular in Zambia or in SADC region? What capabilities and advantages do they have over the existing motor vehicles. Are these the type of vehicles people want? Do People behind this project understand why Living’stone Motor Assembler and Range Rover in Ndola closed? From the look of things this project might not be useful to Zambia. The Key is to produce vehicles which people want not what the promoters want. This might end up being a White project.

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  7. From the price of construction one can deduce that this is a mere assembly plant…all the Zambians will be doing is casual work like unwrapping packages when they are shipped in, no skills transfer.

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  8. Remember this is not government money but a private investor. This means any investment by private foreign companies is welcome as it provide revenue for the government and jobs and businesses for Zambians. If it succeeds benefits continue. If it fails only the investor loses but people would have worked for a period of time and taxes paid.

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    • I am convinced Zambia has brilliant people including on this forum. However we have certain traits that may forever keep us backwards including the love for criticising instead of coming up with suggestions on how to make things happen.
      Success and development is spearheaded by people who want them to happen and not us who wait for someone to suggest then we criticise. Let us bombard these fora with suggestions on how to improve things in Zambia.

      Let us change our mindset. Zambia is ours. Only you and I can make Zambia better

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  9. REALLY! What is so bad with the current status where vehicles are imported; second hand though they may be? What are the economic and social incremental benefits of assembling and importing and what are the differences in costs?. Chinese investors think there is a huge demand for brand new vehicles in Zambia? Is this true? And who would afford to buy brand new vehicles assembled in this country? Is this a sustainable Does not South Africa assemble brand new vehicles; so what would be the difference because I can see so few Zambians that can afford to buy new vehicles from South Africa. It may remain an economic ‘prudence’ to import second hand cars in Zambia than to try to make them here.

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  10. @MMKS I want thank you for pointing out what exactly hurts me most about most Zambian people, their mindset is so anti progress in many ways. People world over succeed only by trying. In the process money and lives could be lost, but when they make break through the impact can be game changing. We need this sort investment for capacity building and government policies must guide all investment in the country to empower local capacity. And yes, If we don’t do it, Kenya and Ethiopia will. Already they are doing by far better than us in many industries such as ICT, Telecommunication, Energy, Agriculture, etc. For me my motto and approach is ‘You must help Zambia without telling Zambians’ because of the mindset issue.

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  11. Only when you see the assembley starts do you belive PF.
    The economics don’t make sense. The cost of doing business in zambia is too high due to PF incompetence.
    Fuel up , electricity going up , load shedding.

    I can tell you now this will not happen.
    Nice dream through.

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  12. It should be small cheap plant for the third world. 70 Zambians will be employed temporary to construct a plant which to me it looks like a warehouse.what type of cars are made in China? Any one please educate or inform me. They will come with carpenters bricklayers plumbers. All those 70 Zambians wil be just handymen. Luck for those 70 who didn’t do well in school because of the unforeseen circumstances they faced such as hike in school fees, parents lost jobs, teachers where on indifinate strikes any circumstances created by government Lungu promised 1.5millions jobs in five years. Good promise he created 70 jobs so far. He destroyed 1000 jobs Mmembe created in 26years. Where are we going?
    Dununa reverse.

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  13. Guys, we have to start from somewhere. Something is and will always be better than nothing at all. Right now we are just consumers of kinds of electronics junk.

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  14. Having spent 25 years in Africa and the past 20 years in Australia, if the numbers stack up then let free enterprise prevail. When I first came to Australia I realised that they do not have enough population to manufacture anything that cannot be exported. The main problem is the high cost of labour. At least Zambia has a population in neighbouring countries that the vehicles can be sold. Remember that Australia is the same land area as the USA with a population just over 1.5 times that of Zambia.

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