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Ethiopia - Holland Car opens sister company, introduces new brand
By MulukenY ewondwossen
Holland Car has unveiled a new vehicle assembly plant 11 km west of Addis Ababa at a place known of Tatek, at a cost of 25 million birr. The company is finalizing the assembling infrastructure for the ‘Cassiopeia’ [a Greek word for prince of Ethiopia] factory which rests on a 30,000sqm plot.
When Cassiopeia begins operating at full capacity in May 2009, it will assemble 1500 pickup vehicles per year.
Cassiopeia is a sister company of the first vehicle assembler in Ethiopia, Holland Cars, known for its Abay [Amharic for the Nile River] model.
But now Holland Cars is set to launch a new model, Awash [also a river found in Ethiopia], which will be displayed tomorrow for the public at the Sheraton Addis. The latest car will be sold at a price a bit higher than its predecessor, Abay which is sold at 203,000 birr.
Holland Cars will be assembling the new brand jointly with the Chinese Chong Qing Lifan Industry Group which was also a partner in the previous model’s assembling.
Engineer Tadesse Tesema, managing director of Holland Cars, told Capital Awash will be followed by another more affordable brand, Naomi, after a month.
“Awash is well equipped with advanced technology and we plan to assemble 500 units per annum,” said Tadesse.
The Abay vehicle seems to have caught on among the public who face imported alternatives subjected to taxes exceeding the car’s original worth. The waiting list has grown to six months.
“We have sold 17 Abays for the Ministry of Defense, 50 for Addis Ababa City Municipality and for different governmental and NGO offices. We assemble 10 Abay and plan to assemble three Awash daily,” said Tadesse. “If it weren’t for the current foreign exchange shortage in the country we could assemble more.”
The capital of Holland Cars has reached 35 million birr from the initial 10 million birr.
Representatives from the Chinese company Chong Qing are expected to come to Ethiopia today to discuss possibilities to export jointly after upgrading Holland Cars’ capacity.
Holland Cars began its unprecedented venture producing 48 units of the first brand, DOCC, from the 800,000 euro grant the company had got.
Holland Car PLC Rolls Out 'Abay'
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