KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
German automaker Volkswagen (VW) on Wednesday
formally launched a car assembling plant in Rwanda, which will
see 20 million U.S. dollars invested in the first phase of its
The German carmaker
will begin assembling three models: the Hatchback Polo, the
Passat and possibly the Teramont, a large sports utility
vehicle, according to Michaella Rugwizangoga, chief executive
officer of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda, VW’s branch.
Paul Kagame unveiled the assembling plant located at the Kigali
Special Economic Zone located in Rwandan capital city Kigali.
The launch saw the
unveiling of the first Volkswagen car that was assembled in
Africa does not need
to be a dumping ground for second-hand cars, or second-hand
anything, because in the long run Africans may end up paying a
higher price anyway, said Kagame.
“If you pay a high
price for second hand, why not pay for something new. Africa and
Rwanda deserve better and this is one way of showing we can
afford it,” he added.
The Rwandan leader
noted that Africa is not merely positioning itself as a new
low-cost hub to manufacture goods for export. African consumers
will also be among the biggest contributors to growth in global
demand in the years ahead, he said.
“Some found it hard
to believe that German cars could really be built in Rwanda. Yet
today, the first vehicles are rolling off the assembly line. One
of the first vehicles to come to Rwanda was Volkswagen,” Kagame
The Rwandan plant
will have the capacity to assemble up to 5,000 cars per year,
creating up to 1,000 jobs per year, according to Volkswagen
Mobility Solutions Rwanda.
According to Thomas
Schaefer, the chairman and managing director of Volkswagen Group
South Africa, Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda will
incorporate a retail outlet including sales and service, an
on-site assembly facility, a training center and a full suite of
“Rwanda is a stable
country that has provided conducive environment to investors.
Volkswagen is pleased to have opened its plant in Rwanda after
Kenya. This will not only enable Rwandans buy brand new
Volkswagen cars, but will provide employment opportunities to
them,” he said at the launch.
heavily on imported second hand cars, and the launch of
Volkswagen operations plant will gradually phase out the used
imports, according to the Rwanda Development Board.