The next milestone in Volkswagen Sub Saharan Africa strategy becomes reality with the registration of the company Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda. The company is to set up shop in Rwanda with an initial annual installed capacity of 5000 vehicles

The stage is set for the commencement of the roll out of Volkswagen’s integrated automotive mobility solution, a first for the Volkswagen Group, under the auspices of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), who are responsible for the Sub Saharan African Region.

In December 2016 Volkswagen signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to conduct a detailed study to develop a business case for Volkswagen to introduce an integrated automotive mobility concept in Rwanda, which would be a first for Volkswagen worldwide.

“Our studies are complete, we believe that we have a business case that will work and we are now ready to commence with the implementation of our plans for Rwanda. In short after today there is no going back, we are now fully committed to implementing our unique integrated automotive mobility solution in Rwanda together with Rwandans,“ said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.

The production facility will have an initial annual installed capacity of up to 5000 units, with 2018 being our start-up year. The Volkswagen product portfolio will initially include the Hatchback Polo, the Passat, a sedan and possibly the Teramont, a large SUV.

The current business plan assumes employment of between 500 and 1000 people in Kigali in phase one for Mobility Solutions admin, production, training, sales and service and the drivers..

A Rwandan software development start-up company Awesomity Lab has been appointed to develop the mobility App. Volkswagen is also in negotiation with other potential Rwandan suppliers.

The first service to be offered will be community car sharing which will launch in quarter two, with around 150 vehicles in service within a few months. This will be followed by a ride hailing service with some initial 150 vehicles planned in the medium term still in 2018.

In 2019 public car sharing with some initial 250 cars planned will be launched and this will be followed by a shuttle service and lastly a peer to peer car sharing service is envisaged.

These numbers are based on assumed market demand, as such an innovative integrated mobility solution is a first for the automotive industry.