LIFAN Motors 5 mln USD expansion plan underway


Lifan Motors Plc, a subsidy of Yangfan Motors Plc, the Chinese auto manufacturer, is undertaking an expansion project with five million USD intended for the provision of spare parts in sufficient quantities and increased after-sales service. The number of cars the company sold rose due to shorter delivery time it offers as well as the increase in demand caused by the bankruptcy of its one-time partner, Holland Car. 
Currently, the number of vehicles the company sold  has exceeded 2,500. So far, most of them are the LIFAN-520 model with the demand for its latest model Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), X-60,  rising.  The Holland Car’s bankruptcy is due to leave cars that it sold without after-sale service.   Officials at Lifan expect that following its bankruptcy, Holland Car’s sold vehicles may be left with out after-sale services. “We presume Holland Car’s bankruptcy will leave the cars the company sold without service. We have decided to take over the service for the already sold cars,” he said. They, therefore, plan to expand their company before service becomes a headache for both their customers and the company.
This expansion project consists of fitting the industry with better technology and wider space at different locations, opening of a new branch with a showroom and setting up another service station.
Lifan’s industry will shift from Kality district, on 8,464sqm rented from a private company, to the Eastern Industry Zone, around Gellan, on the outskirt of Addis Ababa toward the east, as of January 2012.  The area for the industry is 20,000sqm. The third branch, next to Mekele and Hawassa branches, will be opened in Dire Dawa. Another service station that is due to start in a month time would also be opened in Kera, Addis Ababa. “We are eying to set the fourth service station in Bahir Dar, Amhara Regional State,” said Daniel Tamirat, Promotion Manager at Lifan. 
The company is working 24 hours a day and six days a week with the capacity to assemble 12 cars per day.  It used to operate 12 hours a day producing six cars. Parts for 390 Lifan cars are also on their way to Ethiopia; most of them have reached Modjo Dry Port while others are at Djibouti port.  
The company claims to have been delivering its vehicles within two months of order. “We will start selling from stock or at least delivering within 15 days, when our expansion project is completed and problems with the new multi-modal system are resolved,” Tian Jie (Roger), Deputy General Manager of Lifan, said. 
Holland Car set up in 2005 by Trento Engineering, a Dutch automobile equipment producer, and a local trading company, After connecting with Lifan, produced LIFAN-520 until their disagreement over the number of shares the former wanted to buy from the latter. Their partnership ended in June, 2009.
Lifan has signed an agreement with a private dealer called Sasco Plc which will enable the latter to sell spare parts of the Lifan at industry rates. 
The company has also signed a sponsorship agreement with Ethio-Talent Show to hand over the Lifan-320 model car to the winner. The show is auditioning contestants with diverse talents including, vocal, cultural and modern dance, poetry, acting, magic, sport, comedy, drama, etc., and will end after 14 months according to Fekadu Wari, General Manager of Ambassel Music and Film Production Plc, owner of the show.
Lifan’s capital will reach 15 million USD upon the completion of the expansion, according to the Deputy Manager. The company started with 1.5 million USD and raised it to five million USD by 2010.