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"Holland Car, the first and only car assembly plant in the African country of Ethiopia, has just launched local production of the Chinese Lifan 520 under the name Abay.

The Abay is powered by a four-cylinder 1.3-liter engine hooked to a five-speed manual transmission. Standard equipment includes airbags, ABS and EBD. The car retails for the equivalent of $16,000 in Ethiopia.

Holland Car was set up in 2005 by Dutch automobile equipment producer Trento Engineering and a local trading company. The company's production facility is located in Modjo, about 40 miles from Addis Ababa. Its first product was the ancient Fiat 131, which is still being built by Fiat's Turkish partner, Tofas. The Tofas Sahin became the HC Docc in Ethiopia. With the Turkish company phasing out production, Holland Car had to find a new partner and hooked up with Lifan — a big motorcycle maker in China that has only been producing automobiles since 2005. Nevertheless, Lifan already has partners in Russia and Vietnam, distributes its 520 in Russia, South America and around Asia, and is in talks about assembly in Iran.

Despite the pioneering sound of the deal, another Chinese company — Great Wall — reached Africa ahead of Lifan, operating an assembly plant in Nigeria."

- Edmunds Inside Line -

 

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The choices facing domestic makers

Add this overseas production to Russia, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijian, and Vietnam and it looks like Lifan is serious about going beyond the Chinese market. Of course it has many well established contacts in foreign countries because of the success of its motorcycle sales. But is this strategy of building offshore transplants the best one for a company that is just beginning to build passenger cars?
Some small Chinese car companies would do well to concentrate on the Chinese domestic market until they have developed a good reputation for all aspects of the business. A population of 1.3 billion people is not the makings of a small market.
On the positive side I think Lifan's limited model lineup can work to its advantage.
 

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Re: Holland Car to produce Lifan cars in Ethiopia

Interesting. Despite already supplying engines, motors, etc. to Holland, Lifan plans to construct an assembly plant in Ethiopia. Company says it will produce different kind of vehicles and not 520.

March 5, 2009 - Lifan Group, one of the biggest privately-owned enterprises in China, will set up a vehicle assembly plant, the first of its type, in Ethiopia with an initial investment outlay of $10 million, Pan Juequan, chief representative of the company and project manager of the future establishment in Ethiopia told The Reporter.

Lifan Group is also the sole supplier of engines, motors and spare-parts for the locally assembled Holland Car which produces Abay and Awash antomobile for the local market and export.

The Chinese vehicle manufacturer has already started the process to establish its subsidiary in Ethiopia which will, in three months, get registered if all goes according to plan, Juequan said.

Lifan Group will invest over $10 million in the future vehicle assembly plant while it will establish "a new relationship" with Holland Car for which it is currently supplying its products according to Juequan.

The vehicle assembly plant to be built in Ethiopia will produce different kinds of assembled cars, including buses and minibuses, and manufacture motorbikes, generators and water pumps, among others.

The representatives of the company will come to Ethiopia after three months to prepare the ground for the establishment of the car assembly plant which will be named after Lifan.

Founded in 1992, Lifan Group has rapidly grown and developed to be a large-scale private enterprise centering on the technology development, manufacture and sale of vehicle and motorcycle, according to information posted on the website of the company.

Lifan is currently exhibiting its products at the weeklong Addis Chamber International Trade Fair which kick-started on Thursday along with other fifteen Chinese companies which are participating at the trade fair for the first time.

Over 116 foreign companies are exhibiting their products and services at the Chamber's trade fair, which saw the participation of Russian enterprises for the first time as is the case for the Chinese companies.
From:Nazret.com
 

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Lifan Motor sued by Ethiopian partner over takeover bid.

August 21, 2009
Chinese automaker Chongqing Lifan Automobile may be sued by its Ethiopian partner, Holland Car Plc, as part of an ongoing dispute, reports Nazret.com.

Tadesse Tessema, General Manager of Holland Car Plc, said that Lifan Motors has demanded to take over Holland Car and threatened to terminate contracts.

Arguing that the hostile takeover bid is against Ethiopian law, Tessema added that Lifan "has been acting in a way that has hurt Holland Car's reputation, built over years of hard work. We are now planning to take the case to a court of law."

The main cause of the controversy is said to be the drop in procurement by Holland Car of parts from Lifan Motors last year due to the foreign exchange shortage that hit Ethiopia, according to the newspaper.

Holland Car Plc, the first automobile assembly company in Ethiopia, is a joint venture (JV) between Trento, a Dutch assembly tool manufacturer, and Ethio-Holland Transport, an importer of used cars.

from Gasgoo.com
 

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Lifan Auto seeking new partner in Ethiopia for JV.

August 27, 2009
Lifan Auto, a Chinese company that has ended its cooperation with Ethiopian automaker Holland Car, says it is vigorously seeking another local partner to form a joint-venture company in the East African country, Nazret.com reported earlier this week.

Lifan, also known as Yangfan, announced Friday that it has terminated its auto-parts supply contract with Holland Car Plc. The Chinese automaker claims Holland Car failed to observe the Exclusive Agency Agreement that the two companies had entered because the Ethiopian partner had not reached the promised target of sales in 2008.

"The terms of the agreement no longer apply and no common ground could be found, though Lifan has exhausted all means of resolving the problem," the company's statement reads.

Though representatives of the company were not willing to disclose details of the breach, they say they have taken the action after numerous efforts were made to contact and correct the situation with the Ethiopian company - Holland car.

After terminating its contract of supplying auto-parts to Holland Car, Lifan says it is vigorously seeking a new local partner to form a joint-venture company in Ethiopia to produce Lifan cars.

source: Gasgoo.com
 

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China's Lifan cars introduced to Ethiopia market

December 13, 2009
Yangfan Motors Plc, a subsidiary of Lifan Group in China, introduced on Tuesday Lifan model cars, Lifan 320 and Lifan 620, to the local market at the Sheraton Addis in Ethiopia's capital.

The company, which used to be a partner with Holland Car which had been assembling Lifan520 model cars for the market here before the two parties eventually broke up, will assemble the new models here and supply the products to the market, according to Juequan Pan, general manager of Yangfan Motors.

The company will sell the first ten Lifan 320 and the first ten Lifan 620 for special and promotional prices of 179,800 birr and 299,800 birr, respectively, according to Juequan

Yangaf will initially assemble up to 80 cars for the local market here and eventual plan to enhance its production and enter the export market in the neighboring East African countries, he said.

"Lifan would provide us with spare parts and all the necessary technical support while we will assemble the cars here," Juequan said.

According to the manager, the company had already installed the equipment and machineries for the assembly plant it acquired around the Kaliti area. It will start assembling the cars in three month?s time, it was learnt.

From:Nazret.com
 
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