South Korea car manufacturer Hyundai has entered into the Somaliland market.
Hyundai has launched a series of models in Somaliland capital Hargeisa after partnering with Dahabshiil Motors to introduce the brand new vehicles in the Horn of Africa country.
By venturing into Somaliland, Hyundai joins Coca-Cola in the country that is seeking international recognition but boasts of a huge potential for international investments.
HORN OF AFRICA
The South Korean car manufacturer has partnered Dahabshiil group of companies to introduce Hyundai model of cars to the horn of Africa region.
“Hyundai automotive business is not going to be limited to Somaliland, but aims at Horn region as a whole,” Dahabshiil Motors Chief Executive Officer Engineer Awil Sharif said on Thursday.
“In view of the ongoing developmental projects in Somaliland such as the expansion of Berbera port and the plan to create a free trade zone plus the construction of Berbera corridor highway, we are optimistic that the entry of Hyundai will have great impact in the motoring industry. Our strategic plan includes expanding business to other Somali regions and East Africa,” Mr Sharif added.
He said they have introduced eight Hyundai models in the country.
The models include Grand Santa Fe, Santa Fe, Tuscon, Creta, Elantra, Grand i10, a 14 seater commercial bus, and light track.
“Most countries in Africa import four or five models. We started with eight models and will bring more models in future depending on customers’ demand,” Mr Sharif added.
The entry of Hyundai in Somaliland comes just six months after the company opened a 10,000-a-year vehicle capacity assembly plant in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The Hyundai company operates the largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea with an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units.
The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships and showrooms.
Dahabshiil Motors, who are the sole distributors of Hyundai vehicles in Somaliland and Somali regions are offering direct purchase and bank financing.
“Dahabshiil Motors’ Hyundai can be purchased through Murabaha (the Islamic financing bank system). We are part of the Dahabshiil Group, so, our customers can buy our cars on finance,” stated the CEO
In terms of the automotive business, the company measured safety-related matters, environmental pollution problems and user comfortability before importing brand new Left Hand Drive quality vehicles to replace Right Hand Drive vehicles,” stated Mr Sharif.
The entry of Hyundai in the Somaliland comes at a time when the country’s Ministry of Transportation announced it will ban imported Right-Hand Drive vehicles by 2020.
Somaliland is also taking drastic steps to ensure safety on the country’s roads and reduce the effects of vehicle emissions created by unroadworthy cars.