Mobius Motors, a kenyan based automaker has secured a sh 500 Million loan from US government’s development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation that will be used to set up a new factory in Nairobi.
The loan from Opic is part of a Sh1.1 billion ($11 million) financing Mobius received from investors including New York-based PanAfrican Investment Co.
Additionally, the credit facility will expand Mobius Motors’ research and development space, supporting the technical team’s work in developing future vehicles.
“Financing for the factory is provided by equity investors and a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the development finance institution of the United States.” the company said in a statement.
Joel Jackson, the founder and CEO of Mobius, said, “We believe that the growth of manufacturing will be a vital part of Kenya’s industrialisation story over the next decade and beyond. With our first-generation model, we proved that a car could be designed, developed, and built here. As we prepare to launch our new Mobius II model, the next stage in our evolution is to establish our own production capability.”
The next-generation Mobius II was designed specifically for production in the new facility. Furthermore, the factory will be outfitted with wholly new equipment to ensure rigorous quality requirements in all aspects of the car – including CNC laser-cut steel for the space frame, magnetic particle test equipment for weld quality and complete end-of-line testing equipment.
Mobius Motors was founded by British entrepreneur Joel Jackson, a computer engineer who came to Kenya in 2009 to help farmers increase productivity. Since the company began its operations, it has sold 50 units, all made at Thika-based motor vehicle assembler, Kenya Vehicle Manufacturer.
At present, the majority of automotive customers in Kenya buy used imports, which are much cheaper and have a proven track record compared to Mobius vehicle which goes for Sh1.58 million has very few features.