The envisaged multi-million dollar Peugeot Assembly Plant at Walvis Bay, which is a joint venture with the government could open floodgates as investors take advantage of fully serviced industrial parks in the country,
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Michael Humavindu, has said.
Humavindu said in an interview that the cost of setting up the plant at N$50 million is considerably lower because facilities such as land, electricity and water where already in place.
He said the plant which would have an N$140 million evaluation, will leverage on the industrial land set up by the government in Walvis Bay.
“In Walvis Bay, we have the industrial land, which is fully serviced. That reduces investment costs of setting, even the time it takes to set up. Basically, all you have to do is bring the equipment and you are in,” he said.
“We already have land, which is like an economic incentive because we have been building a lot of industrial parks in the country and now we are using these parks to attract investments. The land will be leased by the plant. We are not giving it over,” Humavindu said.
He said most outstanding matters related to the Peugeot plant, including financial closure, have already been resolved.
“We are just sorting out a few things with Customs and Inland Revenue. We are left with bringing the equipment. We have already advertised for a CEO and local technicians positions.”
The plant, which was supposed to start operating in the first half of this year, will now start assembling cars early next year after a logistics delay.
“The plant will start small, assembling about 70 cars per year initially, before growing to 5,000 per annum over a 10-year period. We will target both the regional and local markets.”
Humavindu said Namibia is taking advantage of the Southern African Customs Union Automotive Development Programme by attracting companies that cannot meet the South African threshold of 50,000 units per annum.
“It is not all cars that sell like Toyota. A lot of the models do not sell beyond 5,000 units. Maybe that should be a niche for Namibia.”
Nictus Holdings Limited chairman, Philippus Tromp, said in the company’s Annual Report for the year ended 31 March, that he was optimistic that assembling Opel vehicles in Walvis Bay will bring a new dimension to Auas Motors and will play a major role in propelling the company to a new level of operations.
In March, Groupe PSA and the government announced that they had signed an investment agreement facilitating the joint-venture agreement between Groupe PSA and Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) to assemble Peugeot vehicles in Walvis Bay.
The Peugeot 3008 SUV will be the first output from the factory, with other products following to meet customer demand.