Downtown Africa Mag-Ichiro Kashitani, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, has announced that the company will start assembling its vehicles in Ghana from August 2020.
Speaking on Thursday during the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ghanaian government for the establishment of a Toyota and Suzuki assembly plant in the country, Kashitani said the project will last for life.
“We consider the project of the assembly plant a marriage. It lasts for life, and it is a long-term project,” he said
President Nana Akufo-Addo, however, stated that the signing of the MoU with Toyota Tsusho falls in line with the vision of making Ghana an automotive hub for West Africa and the larger African market.
The president noted that Ghana is the base to reach the larger African market with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Kashitani with Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana
“We are attaching a great deal of importance to the initiative and development,” the president said.
“We want to assure you that, whatever it is we can do on the side of the Ghana Government to provide you with the necessary support and assurance that the investment you are going to make in our country will be worth your while, you can count on us to do that.”
On his part, Imai Toshimitsu, chief operations officer in charge of the Africa division of Toyota, said the decision to set up in Ghana has been necessitated by the favourable economic climate prevailing in the country.
“We are willing to participate in the automotive industry in Ghana,” he said.
“I am very happy that we have reached the consensus and principal agreement to start the Toyota and Suzuki assembly plants. We are planning to kick-off the project immediately, and, hopefully, we will have first car made in Ghana this time (August) next year. Thank you very much for your support.”
Toshimitsu said the decision to assemble Suzuki vehicles in Ghana is sequel to the acquisition of 4.9% stake in Suzuki by Toyota Tsusho, on Wednesday, making the company a principal shareholder in Suzuki.
“The products to be assembled in Ghana include the Toyota Hilux pickup, which is already popular in Ghana. Since it will be locally produced, I hope it will be more popular. We are also planning to introduce small passenger cars, with two Suzuki brands,” he stated.
“So, Suzuki products will be assembled and sold in Ghana. The cars which will be produced in Ghana are our core models for Africa and Ghana customers.”
Watch video of the signing below.