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Locally Assembled Ethiopian Car Has Kenyans Jealous

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Ethiopia on Tuesday July 28 unveiled a locally-assembled electric car from Marathon Motor, a joint venture between Korean auto giant Hyundai and Olympic champion Haile Gebreselassie.

Mr Gebresselassie on Monday delivered the vehicle to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“As we transform Ethiopia’s greening & climate resilient aspirations into concrete actions through the #GreenLegacy initiative and Sheger & Entoto Parks, this morning I received the first electric car fully assembled in Ethiopia. No emission cars can help reduce pollution,” the PM said in a tweet.

Once fully charged, the electric car can go for 300 kilometers. The plant, which opened in March, has a capacity to produce 10,000 cars a year.

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed receiving the keys to the new electric car. Source: Twitter

The electric car sent waves of jealousy to Kenyans who might be still fuming after the country introduced one of its own, produced locally.

The Government on Wednesday, July 22, announced a partnership with Sagak AutoTech to kickstart the process of mass producing cars.

The car company got the partnership through Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency which is a government organisation whose mission is to brand Kenya, export Kenyan products and build Kenya.

In a statement, the agency announced the partnership opened the door for the company to sell their cars beyond the country’s borders.

The final product of the Laikipia BJ-50 cars. Source: Diaspora Messenger

“Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency is collaborating with Laikipia County to assess the needs of up-scaling the Sagak Auto tech plant and build capacity to produce for the local, regional and international markets,” read the statement.

Christened BJ-50, the Laikipia car hit headlines back in March 2019 when Laikipia County Government showcased two locally made cars at the Devolution Conference.

The car goes for about Ksh450,000, has a capacity of seven passengers and achieves a maximum speed of 70km per hour.

Back in 2019, according to an article on the Laikipia County Government website, the car had already received 26 orders from influential personalities.

The car however received some backlash from Kenyans who claimed that it was overpriced with some comparing it to smokie trollies.

The Laikipia car photoshopped to look like a smokie trolley. Source: File

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