Volkswagen Ghana calls for full implementation of Auto Policy at new Virtus launch
Volkswagen Ghana calls for full implementation of Auto Policy at new Virtus launch

Volkswagen Ghana calls for full implementation of Auto Policy at new Virtus launch

The Managing Director and Chairperson of Volkswagen Group Africa, Martina Biene has urged the government to fully implement the Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP) to unlock the country's potential as a West African auto manufacturing hub.


Ms. Biene, who also leads the African Association of Automobile Manufacturers (AAAM), highlighted the policy's role in attracting Volkswagen and other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to invest in Ghana. However, she stressed the need for complete execution, particularly regarding used car import duties and bans on old vehicles aged 10 years and above.

Speaking at the Accra launch of the new Volkswagen Virtus on Tuesday in Accra, Ms. Biene stressed that full GADP implementation could position Ghana as a new vehicle manufacturing leader in West Africa. Their current investment of  $54 million translates to a potential annual production capacity of 140,000 cars. However, two key policy aspects remain outstanding.

"We have around 54 million dollars investment already in the country that leads to an installed capacity of 140,000 cars which could be built in Ghana on an annual basis with a current investment already but there's two steps in the Automotive Development Policy implementation still missing. So, it's been all agreed and gazetted but not gazzeted," she said.

"The most important point is an import duty on used cars because that the one competing with the new car market, so it is not only about Volkswagen, it is also about other manufacturers. We could be more competitive and strengthen the local base for more manufacturing".

The influx of used and salvaged vehicles was identified as the second hurdle to a thriving new car market. Biene expressed concerns about their safety risks and environmental impact due to outdated engine technology and high CO2 emissions.

Despite these challenges, Volkswagen Ghana sold 6,000 vehicles last year. Biene believes this number could rise to 30,000-50,000 with a fully enacted GADP.

The Ghana Automotive Development Policy (GADP) aims to transform Ghana into a fully integrated and competitive West African auto industry hub. The policy offers incentives like corporate tax holidays, import duty exemptions, and attractive financing schemes to boost investment and job creation.

Launch of the Volkswagen Virtus

Volkswagen Ghana CEO, Jeffrey J.O. Peprah, announced the introduction of their newest locally assembled sedan, the Virtus. This marks the fourth vehicle line produced at their Tema facility, joining the Teramont, Tiguan Allspace, and T-Cross.

Starting from $22,430, Peprah highlighted the Virtus's design and spacious 521-liter boot space.  The 1.6-liter MPI engine delivers 81kW of power and 152 Nm of torque, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It reaches 100 km/h in 11.2 seconds, with a top speed of 190 km/h and a claimed fuel consumption of 6.3 liters/100 km.

South African High Commissioner, Ms. Grace Janet Mason, applauded Volkswagen's commitment to assembling vehicles in Africa, emphasizing its role in establishing Ghana as a manufacturing hub.

Follow writer on X: Kweku Zurek

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