Made In Africa: African Automobiles & Technological Designs.
Posted 15 October 2006 - 07:07 PM
The African Automotive Design Association's goal is "...to bring together Automotive design enthusiasts, Artists of all ages, professional designers and design students, of all nationalities, to promote design education, African culture, African Heritage, and to encourage automotive design practice in Africa..."Their mission is "...To develop and create a brand new automotive design language, style or identity for Africa..."
The Uri (Namibia) Uri. From the Namibian word for "jump", this extremely able 4x4 is perfect for the real off road path. Made in Namibia and South Africa using a Toyota chassis and engine (underpinnings).
The libyan Rocket: The car was unveiled on the 30th anniversary of the revolution which propelled the Libyan leader to power. The Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan rocket) a five-passenger saloon in a metallic Libyan revolutionary green with tinted windows, was launched at a special summit of the Organisation of African Unity organised by Colonel Gaddafi. The car has the aerodynamic lines of conventional models but the front and rear ends are rocket-shaped. The interior is replete with air bags, an inbuilt electronic defence system, and a collapsible bumper which protects passengers in head-on collisions. Revolutionary Dukhali Al-Meghareff, chairman of the Libyan arab Domestic Investment company which produced the prototype, billed it as revolutionary in automotive history. He said it was developed from safety ideas conceived by Gaddafi. The company plans to set up a factory next month in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to start production. "The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere," Mr Meghareff said. "The invention of the safest car in the world is proof that the Libyan revolution is built on the happiness of man."
The Z-600 (Nigeria) The Z-600 was the brainchild of a Nigerian Dr Ezekiel Izuogu, who envisioned an all-African car, designed and made in Nigeria from 90% local content. It has a doorbell for a horn, quite a surprising detail, and still remains as an existing prototype.
The Matatu (Kenya) This very unique and useful minibus design called a Matatu. It was originally styled and developed in Nairobi Kenya; The body is fabricated from sheet metal and built upon an Isuzu minibus chassis that is also driven by an Isuzu engine.
(Morocco) The Laraki Fulgura: This Moroccan supercar concept, named after its founder Abdeslam Laraki was based on the world famous Lamborghini Diablo. It was offically unveiled at the 2002 Geneva motor show.
Posted 15 October 2006 - 07:12 PM
Rendering by John Kalu (Nigeria)
Notice the sports car with 6 wheels. Now that is imagination Naija stlye.
An example of African Automotive Design:la Moroccan Laraki Ful Concept Car
Sketch of a Citroen by Wayne Batty (South Africa)
Pegasus of Mine Reffat (Egypt)
Jonathan Kasumba. The founder of the AADA, Jonathan Kasumba
The founder of the AADA, Jonathan Kasumba (Uganda)
Founder Jonathan Kasumba,the AADA (African Automotive Design Association) resolves to promote the field of design, and the culture and customs of Africa, encouraging emergent talents and placing themselves like reference for the community of the design in Africa.
As J. Kasumba explains, "the AADA and its members have one mission: to ahead develop and to carry a new formal language that renders the African design recognizable."
"We want a car that joins African inequivocabilmente". "In covering this road will come in aid of the AADA the cutura, the customs and the own perception of the world of Africa." This is the philosophy to the base of the first community of Africans dedicated to the automotive design.
Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:18 PM
Ghana Automotive Designs
Ever since the announcement by Enoch Afudego (see news story), there has been some buzz around the slowly burgeoning auto manufacturing industry in Ghana. With the help of our friends at the Mechanical Engineering department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology, we bring you this photo article on the auto manufacturing industry and a student at K.N.U.S.T who is leading the way.
Vehicle on the right is VW whose body was modified by students at KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology)
Buses put together by artisans at Suame Magazine in Kumasi, Ghana.
A convertible sedan also put together by artisans at Suame Magazine.Ghana
Work in progress at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
"At this stage I believe, we need to further develop our designs to a level that will enable us patent the design before we come out with mass production lines.
I have other projects I am working on. Some I am developing alone and others I am developing with a team. These include the redesign of the Mini Baja car, a go-kart car, an F1 car and a fuel-less car – not based on electricity" - Saddick, Abubakar
Ghanaian Mechanic assembles saloon car
Enoch Afudego, a 39-year old Ghanaian mechanic has successfully assembled a saloon car. The car, which he named OTAVI, had the entire body including the bonnet, roof and boot designed and moulded with scrap metal and has the engine of an Opel Ascona.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Afudego said it took him four months to build the car, which he mostly did at his leisure hours. He said after completing West Africa Secondary School, he did not learn any trade nor pursue his education further.
He said the idea of building the car begun somewhere in 1984, when he visited Liberty Baptist Church where he was inspired in a sermon preached by the Rev. Christian Dogor, General Overseer of the church. He said the Pastor challenged the congregation to unearth their God given talents and put it to use since that was the only way one could achieve greatness.
Mr Afudegu said some days later he began by designing a bicycle, which he later perfected. He said after his success with the bicycle, he started building the car, which finally resulted in the manufacture of the Octavi. He noted that he was in the process of manufacturing a bus and an amphibian car.
The car, which was driven from Tarkwa to the office of the GNA, looked quite rugged for the Ghanaian terrain. Mr Afudego called on the government and other philanthropists to assist him produce the cars on a large scale for local use.
Sudan Automotive Industry: GIAD industrial complex
The city of Giad gears up for new players in mineral processing and vehicle manufacturing
Giad Industrial Group is the biggest industrial complex in Sudan. The industrial zone is divided into the following Companies:
**Giad Automotive Industry Company Ltd
**Giad Company for Steel Manufactures and Pipes
**The Copper Factory
**Giad - Elsewey Cables Company (GESCO)
**Electrical wires and cables production plant
**Bouruj Engineering Company
Made in Sudan
Inaugurated by President Al-Bashir in October, Giad Industrial City symbolises the government's vision of Sudan's future. Situated about 20 miles north of the capital Khartoum, and just over a mile from the banks of the Blue Nile, the new city provides its residents with all the benefits of modern town planning - a hospital, schools, recreation areas and two different sources of electricity.
Comprising two main sectors; one for the metal industry and the other for vehicle manufacturing. President Al-Bashir stresses the importance of creating a strong industrial foundation, which will also boost Sudan's agriculture-based economy. There has already been rapid growth in food processing, medicine and light engineering. But more power will be needed for the expansion of heavy industries, mineral extraction, and the processing of metals.
The Koreans have invested around $6 million in a new training centre, which will enable the Sudanese to work in the fields of maintenance, computers, electronics and mechanical technologies as well as textiles. Industrial production inputs are to be exempted from fees and customs duties. In the industrial complex there are already several heavy-manufacturing plants, one of the largest of which is a steel factory and rolling mill. So far, $38 million has been invested in the 33,000 sq m plant, which has capacity of 150,000 tonnes a year.
A nearby copper plant, with three production lines, makes wire rods, billets and strips. The high-specification rods are primarily used for electrical cabling. A $9 million aluminium plant comprising furnaces, a continuous casting machine, and extrusion and paint lines, produces cables and window and door-frames for the building industry, as well as wire rods for cable production. Another factory, which cost around $9 million to build, produces electrical cables and wires at a capacity of 45,000 tonnes per year. In another part of the city, a large pipe-making plant boasts a capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year. Then there is the Giad Tractor factory, capable of rolling out 1,500 units a year, and the Giad Agricultural Implements plant which produces a wide range of harrows and ploughs. Although these plants employ hundreds, rather than thousands, of people, Giad's industrial firms are set to grow now that oil has been discovered in Sudan. There will be an increasing demand for all the products made in Giad, particularly those intended for use in the oil industry.
Within its group of companies, Sudan Master Technology (SMT) has an assembly line in Giad which rolls out medium and heavy trucks, as well as passenger coaches. Jamal Mohamed Hassanain, general manager of subsidiary SMT Engineering Company, says it was virtually impossible to get european funding for the Giad project. "But we have found that the Chinese and some Far Eastern companies are willing to cooperate and supply us with what we need," he says. Mr Hassanain points out that the products manufactured by Giad will be of a high quality, but adds: "We need to make a huge effort in order to reach the standards we need. Everybody working at Giad should feel that there is a big responsibility on their shoulders."
The Sudanese themselves will be the judges of what rolls off Giad's production and assembly lines. For the first time, they will be road-testing, in the toughest of environments, new vehicles built in their own country.
Edited by Vubundada, 15 October 2006 - 10:15 PM.
Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:28 PM
Bernard Otabil investigates the state of Africa's automotive industry and looks at the road ahead.
Many African countries generate significant revenue from the automotive industry - predominantly through the import duties and taxes paid to their governments. However, with South Africa the exception, car export is very rare in Africa. With growing local demand for imported used cars - mainly from europe and America - many market commentators are of the view that improving local assembling and manufacturing capacity could be the best way forward for car exporters to Africa. Here, some of the developments in the industry are explained with particular reference to Ghana and Nigeria.
The automotive industry in Africa, though short of real capital investment, is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent. Unsurprisingly, in view of the lack of general investment in this sector (as in many manufacturing activities across the continent), the automotive industry is largely dominated by imports from abroad, and particularly from europe and America. South Africa apart, African countries generally engage in very little vehicle assembly to meet the ever-growing local demand.
Comparing the current automotive industry in Nigeria to that of Korea, Obi Akwe, a Nigerian mechanical engineer explains: "About three decades ago, Korea knew nothing about car production. In fact, the very nature of the sort of economic activities and system of governance did not permit that kind of economic activity." According to Akwe, it is the resilience and determination of the people of Korea that has made them so important in the global automotive market today.
However, Akwe laments the current subsistence level of the industry in his own country: "Nigeria has long been involved in the car market in Africa. Our Peugeot assembly plant is one of the success stories in the automotive industry. But at the time that we should have been playing a more influential role in the market, we are struggling to even keep the many people employed by the company in employment. The story is that the company is at its knees." Indeed, the sad state of many of the companies in the automotive industry in Nigeria has caused the government to seek investments from both local and foreign players.
South Africa apart, African countries engage in little vehicle assembly to meet the ever-growing local demand
The Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) invited expressions of interest from local and international investors for stakes of up to 35 per cent in three automobile plants, namely Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (Enugu), Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Ltd (Kaduna) and Volkswagen Nigeria Ltd. (Lagos). The plants are joint ventures with Daimler Benz, Peugeot and Volkswagen, respectively, and were commissioned in the 1970s. However, to date, the majority of automobile plants in Nigeria have been poorly managed. In order to pre-qualify, investors will be expected to prove their expertise in this sector.
In stark contrast to the situation in Nigeria, South Africa has made significant progress in the automotive industry with an increase in sales over the past year. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, new vehicles sales for March show an increase of 11.1 per cent compared to the same month last year.
NAAMSA feel that this increase has been "reasonably encouraging" and that it is broadly in line with what the industry expected. Yet NAAMSA also noted that "the year on year comparison had to be qualified in the context of the relatively weak sales performance during March last year, by which time the pre-emptive buying spree to avoid the price increases resulting from the weak rand at the time, had largely dissipated.
However NAAMSA maintains that in general the signs are positive: "it was encouraging that 2003 first quarter aggregate new vehicle sales remained marginally ahead of the first quarter 2002 industry sales." NAAMSA also note that, "The ongoing remarkable strength in sales of heavy commercial vehicles and buses confirmed continued positive investment sentiment in the economy."
World motor production, which showed an increase of 4.7 per cent last year, was also expected to decline by 1.5 per cent this year. Many analysts are also of the view that with special initiatives like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), automotive manufacturing companies based in Africa stand to gain more from special concessions allowed under the initiative.
According to Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Africa Rosa Whitaker as a result of AGOA "an Ohio company recently won a contract to supply equipment to a major automobile manufacturer in South Africa" and, in turn, South African automobile makers exported a wide range of vehicles worth US $120 million to America last year, which makes transportation the largest sector in AGOA. Whitaker underlined the positive affects: "This has been a very positive and unexpected development of AGOA, which has helped to diversify our trade relationship with Africa."
Edited by Vubundada, 15 October 2006 - 10:29 PM.
Posted 22 October 2006 - 09:49 PM
Out of Africa comes the AC Cobra.
By Peter Brock
Reprinted with persmission from Sports Car International Magazine.
Thanks to Superformance, South Africa is now the world's largest manufacturer of Cobras. Really!
The universal desire to own an asphalt-ripping Cobra however never seems to diminish. No matter where on earth you reside, the classic English AC shape still has tremendous appeal. But appeal isn't enough to overcome economic reality in a land where government tariffs can shatter dreams. So car enthusiast extraordinaire Jimmy Price of Port Elizabeth (on the southernmost tip of South Africa) decided to build his own. Right from the beginning he had no desire to be in the "kit car" business. Price wanted only to build real automobiles. Not an easy task when anything you might need is halfway 'round the world and literally weeks away by sea.
But the dream of owning a Cobra never diminished and Price persevered. It would take far longer than he originally estimated, but that was because the burley six-footer wouldn't compromise his own standards of quality. Like so many with similar dreams, he found that it would be almost impossible to replicate the mid-'60s design because many of the original OEM suppliers to AC Cars in England had gone out of business. Most of that cottage industry had simply vanished in the modern world of mass production. Although Price was well along in his project to build roadsters for the South African market, all that changed when an ex-South African living in London named Alan Lubinsky purchased AC Cars.
Lubinsky's plan to resurrect the famed English firm meshed with Price's goal to build exact AC replicas. Price began by offering to re-create the unobtainable critical items for AC Cars' new owner so that they could meet the renewed demand of for real AC-built vintage-style roadsters.
Consequently, Price's Superformance Company has become AC Cars' main OEM supplier of practically anything the English firm needed that it didn't or couldn't make itself. In addition, Price's factory now builds all the chassis and bodies for the modern AC Ace in South Africa and ships the semi-completed cars to England for engines and running gear. There they are sold as English-built ACs -- not really an unusual circumstance in this world of multi-national automobile corporations that source parts from all over the globe for assembly in various locations.
Ironically, tiny Superformance has, over the last five years, become the largest producer of Cobra roadsters in the world. Price's small but super-modern factory produces more classic roadsters today than AC Cars in Thames-Ditton ever did at the height of its production of rolling chassis for Shelby American in California. Shelby's main contribution to the Cobra legend was engineering. Almost everything supplied by AC except the body was modified by Shelby's engineers to create a solid but rather antiquated chassis. Price never attempted to replicate the original Cobra chassis, since he felt a modern design would be more acceptable to current buyers. The original Tojiero-inspired body that was originally designed and built by AC has endured.
The Modern Touch
Under American law, completed Superformance Cobra roadsters can't be shipped into the United States, but their semi-completed chassis can be imported (just as Shelby had them shipped in during the '60s) for home completion. Price's Cobra bodies aren't finished in aluminum like the AC originals. He builds his in modern lightweight composites. "It's far more durable than alloy and we can finish their surfaces to a much higher degree," says Price. There's no arguing with the results.
A row of Superformance Cobras lined up for containerized shipping in the Port Elizabeth factory are polished to such a degree you'd think each car had been specially finished and was headed to a major Concourse. "We had to be better than the originals from England," says Price. "I felt that if you couldn't walk around our car and not question its perceived value we'd have failed. Everything visible to the eye on a Superformance roadster is now as good or better than the original."
Price's factory is filled with an incredible variety of heavy-duty production machinery. "We produce the aluminum bodies and sheet metal steel monocoque chassis for the new AC Ace here in our plant in Port Elizabeth, so we could do aluminum roadster bodies for the Cobras as well, but we don't because we can offer a stronger, less expensive, better finished body in composite." With modern materials you don't have to worry about stone chips or inquisitive knuckles denting the surface of a Superformance roadster.
"Our cars are designed to be driven everyday with the full assurance that they're as reliable as any modern automobile," Price adds. His own bright yellow 427-style roadster is equipped with one of Ford's SVO Windsor 351 crate motors mated to a compact, lightweight Tremec five-speed transmission. The latest versions also use a Ford SVO 3.73 differential that is much stronger and more reliable than the old Salisbury unit. "We use (the yellow car) as the factory demo -- it has literally thousands of miles on it and is as reliable as a blacksmith's anvil."
American distributor Bob Bondurant discovered the same thing three years ago when he began using the Superformance roadster at his driving school in Arizona. Since Bondurant drove the Shelby team cars to the World GT Championship in 1965, he's a pretty good judge of equipment. His verdict: "It handles better than the original and it's just as bulletproof." Price's American dealers sell about 16 Superformance's South African Cobra roadsters a month all over the United States. When questioned about the future of the roadster market, Price smiles. "I'm sure of the short term -- the next five to ten years; after that I don't know."
He's a realist about the ever-changing limited-production market. "Right now there's more than 50 companies out there in the American kit car business trying to fulfill somebody's '60s fantasy." Those are the dreams of an age group that may lose interest in a few years. If a younger group comes along that still appreciates the significance of the Cobra's history, then perhaps the market will endure. If the market does change, Price has several options for the future. His factory is equipped to change with the times. "Right now we build complete automobiles for knowledgeable enthusiasts who want a useable car.
We're not trying to recreate what Shelby did with AC Cars in the '60s -- our roadster is a completely different chassis design for a modem market. We're definitely not in the kit car business, as our cars come completely finished, less engine and running gear. "I don't think we're really part of that kit car business" says Price, when questioned about the myriad of Cobra replica builders in America and England.
"We sell completely finished automobiles. In the US you only have to supply your own power and running gear, but that's simple enough as it's all stock equipment available over the counter from Ford SVO or our dealers and at least a dozen other specialty suppliers'" What's amazing is that a complete turn-key Superformance Cobra sells for far less than the partially completed kit cars manufactured by several firms in the US. "It seems illogical that you can have more for less, but until you understand the South African economy, it doesn't make sense.
What works against us for imports, works in your favor for exports," says Price. Superformance has sold more than 400 roadsters in America and has one of the most enthusiastic owner's clubs in the world. "Those guys are absolutely mad for this car," says Ron Rosen of Dynamic International, the Superforrnance distributor in Ross, Ohio. "They started the whole thing on their own and are now our best salesmen. I recommend that any prospective buyer contact the club before they call us," says Rosen.
"There's always a bit of skepticism when you talk to a salesman. When you get the story straight from real owners it makes our job easier!" The future? "We're a limited production manufacturer," explains Price. "Like TVR, Panoz, Caterham or Lotus, we build what our clients demand. Whether we build for distributors or sub-contract other manufacturers, like we do for AC Cars, we can build anything at any level of technological complexity. Our factory is tooled to make anything.
We expect the market will eventually change, but we're ready. "We employ over 250 highly skilled people so we can deliver in large quantities," continues Price. "That's what makes us different from the kit car suppliers. This quantity of production provides an economy of scale that makes Price's cars less expensive and better finished than anything on the market. I'm sure that in the near future we'll begin to build our own designs, so we can cater to the same markets we have now, but we'll be able to offer an even more advanced product."
Old Cars With a Future
Price shows me around the pristine Superformance factory -- even into the secret rooms with advanced projects. "You can see what I mean," he says with a grin as we look in on a car that sits on a precision scaled chassis table. "When it's finished, we'll use it to set the South African land speed record. We expect to do over 200 mph on a regular highway just north of Johannesburg. But you can't tell anybody the specifics about this just yet!" I'm sworn to secrecy, but the project is so exciting that it's difficult to forget, even when we enter the race shop next door.
There Price's skilled technicians are building a pair of current era Trans-Am Mustangs. "We've a great enthusiasm for big V8s in South Africa," says Price. "Our most popular national racing series is for big-engined sedans. South Africans don't much like oval track racing but they understand the appeal of NASCAR and Trans-Am. Our road racing competition reflects the best of both worlds." How many people race Superformance Cobras in South Africa? "Very few, really -- a South African Cobra driver is very much like the chaps you have in the States. They love the power and speed but seldom have the chance to use it.
We have our own Cobra club and meets, time trials and such, but we're not much into real vintage racing because our cars simply aren't real vintage cars. Because of the economy, there aren't a lot of rare old cars down here. "Real Cobras will always be real Cobras. Those who drive the originals or those who drive ours know they're not the same, but in some ways both groups know it's become impractical to drive a real piece of art on the street. It can be done of course, but the risk makes you paranoid. With a Superformance car you aren't pretending, you're just enjoying what the original owners of Cobras had back in the mid-'60s: A better, practical, fun car that can blow the doors off anything on the street. That's what we offer, nothing more."
Posted 22 October 2006 - 10:07 PM
how about small scale industries before we go for expensive cars in a continent majority cant even buy food
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