Mozambique: A new brand is born: Matchedje Motor

Mozambique 1Matchedje Pickup testing in South Africa

* Many thanks to Anton Smit for the tip *

Chinese investment through the Shanghai-based China Tongjian Investment Co. has transformed Mozambique into a car manufacturing and exporting country, at a time when first-world countries like Australia drop out of the list. Last September, the first car marketed by Matchedje Motors Ltd, Mozambique’s domestic carmaker, was put on the market: a four-wheel-drive pickup priced at 720,000 meticais ($23,700) which is in actual fact a rebadged Fudi F16 from China. According to Bloomberg, Matchedje plans to build 30,000 vehicles in its initial year of production, also including buses and electric motorcycles, 30% of which for the Mozambican market and the remainder for export, all of these very ambitious targets. The construction of the China Tong Jian Investment factory, costing an estimated US$200 million, is the result of an agreement the Mozambican government signed with the company in 2010.

Mozambique 2The first Matchedje Pickup coming out of the Matola factory in Mozambique.

Matchedje, based in Matola near the capital, Maputo, employs about 80 people. In a second phase of development in 2016 and 2017, the company intends to expand its production to 100,000 vehicles a year, 500,000 by 2020 and 1 million in 10 years. Sky high targets for the Matechedje brand, but at least they got our attention. Matchedje intends to build a pan-African sales network and develop a Mozambique automotive industry, the company said. According to the Matchedje website, passenger cars currently available for sale also include the F1 SUV (a rebadged VW Tiguan), the CUV (a Huanghai Aurora), the V3 SUV (a previous generation Chery Tiggo 3) and the X3 sedan (a Geely Emgrand EC7).

Matchedje V3 Matchedje X3Matchedje X3 and V3

Matchedje is the name of the village in the Sanga district of Niassa province, which hosted the 2nd Congress of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), which is the political party currently in power in the country. China Tong Jian Investment is based in Shanghai and its largest shareholder is New Zealand’s Morgan Foundation and its business focuses on promoting China-Africa relations. We will explore the nascent African auto industry into further detail in a future STRATEGY article named Is Africa the new China? Stay tuned for more insights…


Mozambique Full Year 2013: Only 13% of imported cars are new

Maputo Mozambique 2014. Picture courtesy of Flickr.comMaputo street. Picture courtesy of sarahs97, all rights reserved.

* See the original article by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Pal *

According to a recent study by the Mozambique Association for Import and Distribution of Vehicles (AIDAM), only 13% of all imported vehicles in 2013 were new. That’s 6,000 out of a total of 45,000 vehicles imported into Mozambique in 2013. Interestingly, Mozambique does not regulate the import of used vehicles into the country, and as a result, according to Dalila Tsihlakis, CEO of Ronil, the exclusive agent in Mozambique for the Mazda, Iveco and BMW, “some of the second-hand vehicles that are acquired do not even stay on the road for six months as they arrive in the country already damaged or with serious faults.” Pick-up trucks rule the roost in Mozambique and my estimation is Toyota leader of the brands ranking and the Hilux topping the models sales charts.

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Guest post: Purchasing Used Cars via Internet is getting popular in Mozambique

Street scene in Maputo, Mozambique. Picture courtesy of FlickrStreet scene in Maputo, Mozambique

The streets of the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo, have witnessed an increase in the number of cars during the last few years. The types and brands of the vehicles are varied and mixed, but the most popular appear to be those of Japanese used cars such as Nissan and Toyota. One will soon notice that most of these vehicles appear to have one particular feature in common – many carry stickers and tire-covers displaying various Japanese car-export company logos.

There are two main methods through which second-hand Japanese vehicles are purchased in Mozambique. The first is through the city’s local brokers, and the other is a direct purchase from websites run by Japanese companies. The latter in particular has become growingly popular over the past few years.

Many Japanese export companies trade with Mozambique and other African countries through their own sites. CardealPage is one such site, and it has been steadily increasing its supplies to Mozambique by providing a diverse selection of vehicles, ranging from compacts, sedans, the popular SUVs, to trucks and buses.

You will firstly select the type and kind of vehicle of your choice at CardealPage. Then you can further narrow your search down to mileage, budget, color and make. By clicking on whatever vehicle of choice, you will be taken to a page that combines specs and pictures, along with other detailed information about the vehicle.

How much information you find about the vehicles will differ from one company’s site to another. At CardealPage, you will find sections dedicated to Inspector’s Note and Equipped Kit, which is a unique feature and can not be found on other sites. Inspector’s Note gives information to the condition of engines, exhaust, and the smell and state of the interior. Equipped Kit provides a list of jacks, tool kits, and spare tires that are equipped with the vehicles. These are references that can not be determined from pictures alone.

One may find vehicles advertised at very low prices on other sites, but there have also been many cases where the condition of the engines, transmissions, and other parts were reported sub-standard. CardealPage informs all its customers if the vehicles had any of the above problems, and this transparency may be one of the reasons why more Africans customers are preferring to shop through the site.

Buyers must take notice of the total price or cost when purchasing a vehicle. The price of each vehicle is listed as FOB, but this only refers to the cost of the vehicles alone, and does not include shipping. Insurance  may also be added as an optional extra, covering accidental damages during transit. Most sites, including CardealPage, feature automatic functions where it will calculate the cost of vehicle and freight (CFR), as well as all of the former including insurance (CIF).

If you agree to the total cost, you place an order, and an email with an attached invoice is then sent automatically to your inbox. All that remains is to take the invoice to your bank and complete the purchase. Any worries or concerns can be discussed with the companies’ sales advisors via email or telephone. There have been reported cases where customers were sent vehicles that were different to the ones they had ordered, so it would be advisable to be cautious when placing orders through unknown sites, as opposed to the well-known ones like CardealPage.

You will then also want to consider the additional costs after your vehicle arrives at your chosen port. There will be the cost of clearing charges, fuel for the drive back home, and tax/duty charges in your own country. It will be recommendable to check in advance the combined cost of all of the above with a clearing agent in Mozambique. You will find a list of clearing agents on CardealPage if you do not know of any.

Finally, there is the cost of INTERTEK inspection – something that is required of all import vehicles to Mozambique. The average cost stands at around $300, and is usually paid directly to the company from which you purchased your vehicle. You need to apply for a MOZ number at the Maputo Intertek office. The MOZ number is then sent from the office to its counterpart in Tokyo, and the inspection is performed before the vehicle is loaded on to a ship.

You might even feel discouraged and daunted by the prospect of all the additional costs, but it should still work out cheaper than purchasing a vehicle from a local broker. Increasing number of people appear to be purchasing directly from Japan for this very reason. If you are also considering purchasing a vehicle, it might be a worthwhile visiting sites such as CardealPage.

Mozambique: Toyota Hilux potentially on top

* Click on title for street scenes! *

Mozambique is a difficult market to approach as there are not many videos of the streets/roads of the country available online, and not many new cars in the streets.

In this context the possible best-sellers could be the Toyota Hilux, Toyota Corolla, Kia Rio and Chevrolet Aveo.

Please do get in touch if you have more information!

Street scenes below.

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