Johannesburg – Designing and building affordable cars in Africa for African motorists – that's the goal of the new car company Mureza.
The start-up is based in South Africa, but describes itself as an African car company because the project is being driven by a group of Africans from different countries. The first products will emerge from a joint venture with SAIPA Group, the second-largest Iranian automaker, which will supply platforms and components – despite the company's long-term commitment to product independence.
The first model was the beginning The blocks will be a crossover hatchback called Prim8 (which is definitely a primate – something they may want to rethink), and the South Africans will be able to see it as a prototype as early as this week will be on display at the Automechanika Expo in Nasrec in Joburg from 18 to 21 September. Interestingly, at a later date, the hatch will also be working on producing half a ton of Bakkie, a sedan, and a compact SUV.
The Prim8 will initially be assembled in SKD kit form at a plant in Rosslyn as well as at the Willowvale plant in Zimbabwe and at the former Hyundai plant in Botswana. CKD production is expected to start later.
What else do we know about the Prim8?
According to Mureza, the new compact fully-featured crossover hatch will cost between 80,000 and 200,000 rupees. Features include a 17.8 cm touch-screen infotainment system with satellite navigation, keyless entry, cruise control, power adjustable driver seat, four airbags, ESP stability control, ABS and tire pressure monitoring. In the bonnet is a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with an output of 87 kW, which can be combined with either a five-speed manual or a CVT transmission.
The car is guaranteed for three years.  One of the project leaders, Tatenda Mungofa, explains that the brand's goal is to fill the gap between traditional new vehicles and second-hand imports sold in much of Africa (though not in South Africa) with a new model not too far above the price of the latter.
"We will also engage with the sellers of used imports for the retail of our new models and assist them in setting up service facilities, if this is profitable, or we will use independent service points in the various SADEC countries we have This is a first step for our new company. "
" Here in South Africa, we also want to sell our various Mureza models through used car outlets instead of setting up new franchised car dealerships. Online sales will also be important to us, "he added.
Mungofa also said that the company would consider working with smaller suppliers who are not yet able to handle large production runs to help them grow their businesses
Mureza Auto Company intends to Begin production in early 2020 at its first Rosslyn plant. It will employ up to 1000 people, with a focus on manual labor as production increases from 10 to 35 cars a year.