Holland Car Plc, the first automobile assembling plant in Ethiopia, has handed over 48 automobiles last week in its bid to calm its client’s annoyance over delivery delays. This raises the number of cars the company delivered to its customers to 120 since it went into a legal battle over late deliveries a year ago.
Holland Car which assembles vehicles imported from a Chinese automotive producer, JAC Motors, at its factory located in Modjo Town in Oromiya Regional State, 70Km south east of Addis Ababa, was in a legal battle with is clients for over two years now. It claimed that it cannot be held responsible for the failure that directly resulted from the foreign currency devaluation.
The company handed over 48 automobiles powered by a VVT (Variable Valve Timing) engine. This new engine controls the opening and closing time of the intake valve according to different working conditions of the engine to improve its power performance and decrease its fuel consumption according to Haileleul Tadesse (Eng.), General Manager of the Assembly Plant.
The new engine which is made of aluminum, reduces fuel consumption by more than six percent, weight by 29 percent and improves power of the engine by more than 10 percent, he added.
It is making preparations to take its car assembly process a step further by shifting to complete knockdown, where all the parts will be imported in pieces to be welded, painted and assembled in Ethiopia.
So far it has been assembling vehicles from semi knockdown kits, where parts are welded, painted and assembled. In its earlier relationship with Lifan Motors and now with Anhui Jianghuai Plc (JAC), Holland Car received semi knockdown kits. In a complete knockdown, the parts, including the internal combustion engine and the transmission, will be supplied in parts for assembly.
In a complete knockdown, the company will need to set up a body coating line, welding line, engine assembly line and mechanical testing line which could cost them 35 million birr.
Holland Car, which was established in 2005 through a joint venture (JV) by TadesseTessema (Eng) and Trento Engineering, a Dutch company, to supply assembled vehicles for local and export markets, is the assembler of Awash Executive, Abay Executive, and Shebelle cars. The company is also in the process of introducing five new brands: Imay, Tekeze, Naomi, Lalibela, and Dalol. Holland Car was established with an initial capital of 11 million birr contributed by both shareholders.
The company is currently assembling 120 cars, 200 more are at Djibouti Port while 250 are in transit from China according to the manager.