In a development that is likely to spark job creation in the local economy, Groupe PSA (Paris: UG) has announced that it will begin assembling Opel and Peugeot vehicles with effect from this year at Walvis Bay.
This comes from an investment agreement signed between Groupe PSA (Paris:UG) and the Namibian government which facilitates the joint-venture agreement between Groupe PSA and Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) to assemble the vehicles.
Speaking to The Villager yesterday, deputy permanent secretary in the trade ministry, Michael Humavindu, who has been directly involved with the project since 2015 said the project will create 50 direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs.
A lot of these will be dished to VTC graduates to work in a production environment, he confirmed.
“We are now finalizing the company registration and we expect the first equipment to arrive in June and we expect the first vehicles to be produced by the end of this year,” he said.
The trade ministry will convert into a plant the land and building used for hosting the NAMAs which happens to be their property.
“We will be converting it into an automotive plant and we structured a deal around that asset,” said Humavindu.
It has also come to light that the assembly that will start in H2 2018 is projected to have an annual targeted volume of 5,000 units by 2020 to meet the SACU countries market demand.
According to a French news outlet, Businesswire, the OPEL Grandland X and Peugeot 3008 will be the first outputs from this factory, other products will follow to meet customer demand, it has also been revealed.
"This agreement is part of the strategic profitable growth plan, "Push to Pass", aiming to satisfy customer expectations in all the regions in which the Group operates. It materializes Groupe PSA’s ambition to develop internationally by directly producing within Middle East and Africa 70% of the vehicles sold in the region,” says Businesswire.
This project is also the illustration that Opel brand has a real potential in the region, it says.
The manufacturing of Opel models locally has been decided and implemented in a record time frame, less than 4 months after the announcement of the PACE! Strategic plan on November 9, 2017, it adds.
"This investment in Namibia is part of the long term strategy of Groupe PSA to increase its sales in Africa and the Middle East, consistent with our target to sell one million vehicles in 2025. This new capacity will serve regional markets with products in line with our Opel and Peugeot customer expectation,” said executive Vice President for Middle East and Africa Region at Groupe PSA, Jean-Christophe Quemard.
Trade minister Tjekero Tweya could not be available for a comment on the latest development.
Meanwhile Groupe PSA designs unique automotive experiences and delivers mobility solutions to meet all client expectations.
The Group has five car brands, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, as well as a wide array of mobility and smart services under its Free2Move brand, aiming to become a great carmaker and the preferred mobility provider.
It is an early innovator in the field of autonomous and connected cars.