Government is working with authorized automobile dealers and distributors as well as leading financial institutions to introduce a comprehensive vehicle financing scheme to enable Ghanaians to buy ‘Made in Ghana’ vehicles, the Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyeremanten has said.
Also, the government had entered into discussions and negotiations with global automobile manufacturers, including Toyota Ghana Limited to establish vehicle assembling plants as part of the country’s industrial transformation agenda.
The vehicle assembling and automotive industry is one of the ten strategic anchor industries that is being developed in Ghana to serve as new pillars of growth and as well diversify the economy, away from cocoa, gold and other mineral resources.
Mr Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said this at the commissioning of a new ultra-modern facility of Toyota Ghana Limited located at the Accra-Motorway road.
He said government would take all the necessary steps to attract component manufacturers to invest in the country under the Component Supply Development Programme and also provide support to Small and Medium Enterprises to participate in the supply chain of the programme.
The Minister said government’s vision was to transform the country into a major modern automobile manufacturing hub in Africa, stressing that, the new regime of incentives and benefits provided under the Ghana Automotive Policy had attracted Toyota Ghana and other global automobile companies to invest in the vehicle assembling and manufacturing industry in the country.
“We will work closely with Toyota and other automobile companies to expand their presence and operations in Ghana especially into the ECOWAS sub-region, particularly with the coming into force of the Continental African Free Trade Area,” he added.
He said the strategic objectives of aggressively promoting the assembling of vehicles in the country was to generate high-quality skilled jobs for the youth, promote import substitution, increase export and improve the balance of payment, and transform the safety and quality of the country’s transport system.
Vehicle imports in the country amounted to over one billion dollars in 2017.
He said Toyota Ghana presence in Ghana had progressively achieved operational excellence and quality performance through its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), which had impacted the lives of Ghanaians, urging them to continue to make more advances in responding to the needs of the citizenry.
He commended the company for their recognition by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana as the Motor Firm of the year in 2018.
Takuya Kajiura, the Managing Director of Toyota Ghana Limited said the company had increased its shares in the automobile market to 26 percent, emerging as the number one company by the Ghana Automobile Distributors Association statistics.
He said the company had signed a Memoranda of Understanding with the University of Ghana to construct a multipurpose training complex for the University’s School of Engineering, which would include a body workshop and practical training for engineering students.
Mr. Kajiura said the company as part of its long-term vision had invested in infrastructure for network expansion and would continue to offer customers the maximum experience and satisfaction of service.
“We have considered corporate social responsibility as a tool for national development and a pillar for business growth. We annually commit a portion of our profit to CSR activities in the areas of health, environment, education and road safety,” he added.
Mr. Tsutomu Himeno, the Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, said the new edifice would contribute significantly to skills development of workers and enhance national development.
Shinichiro Otsuka, the General Manager of Toyota Africa Automotive Department, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, said the new facility would further improve Toyota Ghana’s sales and after-sales service and as well help hone customer satisfaction.
Mr. Jiro Itali, the Executive Director, Marubeni Corporation, described the facility as a citadel of automobile innovation with all the sophisticated technologies to improve quality service delivery.
Toyota Ghana Company was incorporated in Ghana in 1998 by the investment of Marubeni Corporation, Japan and Marubeni Auto Europe in South Africa and Belgium.