ADDIS ABEBA – Isuzu Motors Ltd, a Japanese commercial vehicle and diesel engine manufacturing firm, said it has finalized preparations to open a vehicle assembly plant in Ethiopia in August 2019.
Taro Kunifusa, General Manager of the company, announced the plan during a discussion he had with the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Japan, Kassa Tekleberhan.
Ethiopia produces around 10,000 commercial and other vehicles a year for its home market. It imported more than 40,000 cars in 2017 alone, automobile traders say.
Tokyo headquartered vehicle manufacturer, when it starts, will join other internationally known brad assemblers in Ethiopia include Chinese brands Geely, FAW and BYD, Lifan and South Korea’s Hyundai.
Isuzu Motors currently supplies a wide range of products to the Ethiopian market, trucks in particular.
Two firms, the National Motors Corporation (NMC) and Kaki PLC – have official dealership pacts for Ethiopia, according to the company’s website.
“We want to engage in other investment sectors to take advantage of Ethiopia’s huge market potential. We have finalized preparations to open a vehicle assembly plant in August 2019,” Taro Kunifusa said.
Ambassador Kassa has also reassured ISUZU officials of the government’s support that they need while investing in Ethiopia.