Uganda's Kiira Motors in race against time
Uganda’s automotive startup Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) is racing to make up for lost time as full funding for the project is now available and the firm can log its first commercial orders.
Civil contractor National Enterprise Corporation is putting the final touches to the assembly facility in Jinja. Shipments of tooling for both the manufacturing facility and final assembly lines is expected to arrive in November.
The Finance ministry released Ush159 billion ($42 million) to KMC mid-May, completing the government’s Ush218 billion ($58 million) financial commitment.
“Now that we have the resources, we are running at full throttle to catch up on lost time. All contractors are engaged and active on site and expect series production to start next June,’ said chief executive Paul Isaac Musasizi.
Construction is underway on the core manufacturing facility and the 30,000 square metre quality certification and testing facility.
Kiira targets to manufacture 30,000 motor components in Uganda by 2030
Mr Musasizi said the company has so far received 19 “expressions of interest” for buses, with three of them converted into firm orders. Sixteen of the orders are for the ultra-long distance Kayoola Diesel Coach and three are for the electric Kayoola EVS.
One of the orders for the Kayoola EVS is from Uganda Airlines.
Negotiations are ongoing with the Mitsubishi franchise to see if trucks and light commercial vehicles can be locally assembled by KMC.