Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Russian automaker enters the Ethiopian market, injecting vitality into economic ties

Addis Ababa, October 10, 2023 (FBC) – The Russian carmaker Lada has become the latest in a growing list of international automakers preparing to enter Ethiopia’s fledgling automotive market which has one of the world’s lowest car ownership rates.

Under a partnership with local partner Bazra Motors, the new plant is projected to produce 5,000 vehicles annually from an assembly plant to be established in the town of Kombolcha, located in Amhara region, according to the Ethiopian ambassador to Russia Cham Ugala Uriat.

He said the new Lada plant will export to neighboring countries including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.

Over the last few years Ethiopia’s government has introduced a range of tax-friendly incentives to encourage car makers to open local operations. According to Semafor’s report, companies including KIA, Lifan and Chery are already making cars.

In May, local partners of Japanese automaker Nissan announced it was looking to set up an assembly plant in the country.

Ladas have a long history on Ethiopian roads, dating back to the 1970s socialist era of Ethiopian President Mengistu Hailemariam. The brand earned a reputation for durability and affordability, making it a preferred choice for many drivers. The 1970s model Ladas still dot the streets of Addis Ababa used as taxis in a familiar blue-and-white livery. Under the deal, the new Ethiopian-made Ladas will include sedan and SUV models such as Grana, Xray, Vesta, and Niva.

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