The Kiira Smack, one of the vehicles assembled by former Makerere University students, currently employed by Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), parked at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala yesterday. KMC launched its business strategy to start assembling vehicles in 2018. Photo by Dominic Bukenya
The Kiira Smack, one of the vehicles assembled by former Makerere University students, currently employed by Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), parked at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala yesterday. KMC launched its business strategy to start assembling vehicles in 2018. Photo by Dominic Bukenya
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Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) yesterday launched its business strategy meant to establish capabilities for manufacturing vehicles in Uganda with production expected to start in 2018 through assembling.

According to Prof Tickodri-Togboa, the minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, the idea to start making vehicles in the country started in 2007 when a group of Makerere University students and staff participated in Vehicle Design Summit in the United States, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Prof Tickodri-Togboa said the project has evolved from being an extra-curricular activity under the auspices of the then faculty of technology Makerere University, to a mainstream research and innovation programme.

“This proof of concept project started in 2009 with funding from the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovation Programme,” said Prof Tickodri-Togboa who mentored students and presided over the design and assembling of the KIIRA EV which was launched by President Museveni on November 24, 2011.

The 25-year blueprint launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at a ceremony in Kampala yesterday, seeks to help Uganda achieve Vision 2040 development goals.
He said government will supporting KMC until vehicles roll off the assembly line as the automotive industry is expected to open up many opportunities including business and partnership prospects, job creation, and enhancement of life.

Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, the chief executive officer of KMC, said the company’s product will include Sedans, pick-ups, crosser-overs, buses and trucks. A Sedan costs $25,000, a Crossover $28,000 and $32,000 for a Pick-up

“Production starts in 2018 with 305 vehicles and production is expected to be at full capacity of 60,000 vehicles per year by 2039,” said Mr Musasizi. According to the an American- based consulting company, RLE International, that conducted the Kiira Motors Business case, the development of infrastructure is estimated to cost $36m (about Shs121b).
Mr Chris Kattalo, the Chief engineer of RLE International, noted that the project is a viable venture with 21 per cent internal rate of return and is expected to be profitable by 2023 posting about $2m.

It is also expected to create about 12,671 direct and indirect jobs during the implementation of five phases of the project, starting in 2016. As part of the recommendations, the consultants want KMC to enter the Uganda market and EAC as a Semi-Knockdown (SKDII) manufacture or contract assembly, where it can manufacture vehicles from partner Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

KMC is owned by Makerere University and Uganda Development Corporation. The plant will sit on 100 acres of land situated at the Uganda Industrial Investment Authority’s Industrial Business Park in Kakira Town Council.

IMPLEMENTATION
The Kiira Motors Project has developed a 25-year business blueprint to be implemented in five phases.

Phase I. Pre-start of production (Plant design, construction and development of the Government Automotive Industry Development Plan, partnership Agreements with OEMs for vehicle manufacturing, training and recruitment programs and kick start Kiira Vehicle Development programs) between 2016 -2018
Phase 2. Semi Knockdown (SKDI): Assembly of Pickups, Compact SUVs, Light Duty trucks and buses in partnership with International OEMs (2018-2028)

Phase 3. Launch of Kiira Motors State-of-the-art Paint Shop under SDK. Between 2028-2035.
Phase 4. Launch of State of the art Body Shop
Phase 5. Launch of the Kiira vehicle with 90 per cent engineered in Uganda, between 2035-2040

[Daily Monitor]