Kampala. Kiira Motors Corporation, the company that government created to start motor vehicle manufacturing in Uganda, has announced plans to begin automobile production in 2018.
Speaking in an interview at the Corporation offices in Ntinda, a city suburb last week, Mr Paul Musasizi, the chief executive officer, said so far the two concept vehicles that have been produced - the Kiira EV and Kiira Smack should serve as a demonstration to Ugandans that the country is the real deal for automotive engineering and technology innovation.
“There is a difference between manufacturing and developing concepts. We have developed three concept vehicles and we are working on the manufacturing plant in Jinja,” he said.
He explained that concept vehicles mainly rely on environmentally friendly technology that minds about the environmental needs of future generations.
“Climate change is real and requires us to think about the future,” he said, as he inspected the final touches on the 35-seater bus named Kayoola. The bus will be powered by solar energy.
“The same people who promised that they will deliver a two-seater sedan, promised that they will deliver an SUV. We promised a solar powered bus which we are delivering next month,” he said.
He added that they will use internationally trending materials and technology to ensure that the vehicles they produce adhere to acceptable safety standards.
According to Mr Musasizi, the Kiira Motors Corporation began with startup capital of $70m (Shs242.7b). Currently they require another $48m (Shs166.4b) for work on innovation and training of the personnel to work on the project before they can start production in 2018.
“When we finally start off the project, we shall need $90m (Shs312billion) for buying materials and running the core business. We shall also ensure that the market is available for the vehicles,” he said.
About Kiira vehicles
Kiira EV, Kiira Smack and the Kiira Kayoola are products of the Makerere University Vehicle Design Project which is a research project on applied contemporary technologies for Uganda and Africa.