The vast majority of vehicles in Africa today are imported from affluent countries with good roads, such as Japan, where they are designed for a starkly different customer need – disconnected from local demand for more affordable and durable vehicles.
Africa’s passenger car market is large and growing. According to the World Bank and International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, within Kenya, 69,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $488 million in revenues. The market in Kenya is expected to grow by 25% in the next 4 years. Across East Africa, 140,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $1.1 billion in revenues. Across Africa, over 1,250,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $10 billion in revenues. Mobius Motor’s target market, middle income households with income of $10k – $20k per year, is projected to grow by 64% by 2020.
To serve African market demand, Mobius is reimagining the car. They have heavily simplified the product by excluding costly non-essential technologies and interior fixtures while maximizing durability for degraded roads with robust suspension and handling, all while aligning to core European and US safety standards and exceeding minimum safety requirements in Kenya and East Africa. They have simplified the development process by integrating proven off-the-shelf parts to create a vehicle with the key performance of an off-road car sold at a price equal to the price of a used imported sedan. Their product empowers entrepreneurs who can access financing to use their Mobius cars to run a myriad of business-in-a-box transport services – from public transport, to mobile medical care, to goods delivery. These businesses will change the capacity and utility of Africa’s transport network, connecting end-users to hospitals, schools and markets in even the most rural areas.