WHY MOBIUS SEEKS NEW MONEY FOR MASS VEHICLE PRODUCTION? ~ :: Habari Duniani

MOBIUS VEHICLE MANUFACTURE IN KENYA
An investor at Mobius says it will sell equity stakes to a number of local and international investors and use the cash for increased production of the Kenyan-built and Africa’s cheapest vehicle.
The firm’s production has been tied to pre-orders and it was last month set to start delivery of the 50 vehicles whose owners had paid an initial deposit of Sh50, 000 for a car priced at Sh950,000 excluding VAT or Sh1.1 million inclusive of taxes.

“A number of international investors are expected to sign up. We expect to unveil them in Q1 2015,” Darshan Chandaria, a director of Chandaria Industries — which acquired an undisclosed stake in the start-up auto firm — told the Business Daily.
“There is also a team of local shareholders that will be joining Mobius. The new investors will help Mobius get additional capital and capacity to move into mass production.

The Chandaria business empire (no direct relationship to the Comcraft Group owned by the family of billionaire Manilal ‘Manu’ Chandaria, who is uncle to Mahesh Chandaria, Darshan’s father) includes interests in tissue paper and hygiene products, manufacturing and distribution, flexible packaging, real estate, mining, solar energy generation and automobile assembly.

The Chandaria group operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, India and Dubai.
Mobius has recently been the focus of investors with the latest being US billionaire Ronald Lauder who offered Mobius an undisclosed convertible debt to help it assemble the first 50 units this year and establish a distribution network.
The low-priced car is the brainchild of Joel Jackson, a 29-year-old British entrepreneur who has lived in Kenya since 2009.

Mobius target market is small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in agribusiness, infrastructure and supplies operating in remote rural areas and need a car that can withstand the rough terrain.
Lack of affordable commercial vehicles such as pick-ups has forced Kenya’s rural-based SMEs to turn to the Toyota Probox, a station wagon, to ferry goods through the rough rural terrain.
Mobius is also entering the market just after Land Rover announced plans to stop assembling the Defender model in Kenya next year.

Commercial vehicles such as pick-ups, trucks and buses account for 40 per cent of Kenya’s new vehicles market that has been growing steadily with increased demand from sectors such public transport, haulage and agribusiness.

The car is also targeting the lucrative tourism safari market for rides in the national parks as well as government agencies, especially those located in remote rural outposts.
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