Africa > Southern Africa > Zimbabwe > Zimbabwe: WMMI Introduces New Business Model

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe: WMMI Introduces New Business Model

2015/01/30

Car assembler Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries (WMMI) has introduced a new business model in an effort to revive its waning fortunes, an official has said.

Last year WMMI indicated that it was considering reverting to its original business model of assembling different types of cars on arrangement.

Established in 1967, WMMI used to assemble any type of car ranging from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Peugeot for various clients on arrangement.

The arrangement was abandoned in 1989 at the same time as government directed WMMI to seek a single partner whose vehicles it would assemble.

But since 2009 at the same time as the country adopted multiple currencies, WMMI has been recording reduced business due to the influx of second hand Japanese cars into the country which are cheaper than new locally assembled vehicles.

"WMMI is thus working (on) a strategy of market needs and trends and technological specifications they (customers) require, inclunding multiple brands or makes and models assembled on arrangement, in order to close this market preference gap," Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) public relations advisor Derek Sibanda said in emailed responses to New Ziana.

He said adoption of the new model was as well meant to support a decision made by government last year that parastatal bosses and national institutions should buy cars from local assemblers in a move meant to protect the local industry.

"The issue at WMMI is policy support to enforce the existing Presidential Procurement Order for public institutions than capital injection, so as to attain the minimum economic off take for Completely Knocked Down operations of at least 4 000 units per year."

Mr Sibanda said existing plant equipment was sufficient and there was no immediate need to refurbish the plant.

"Upgrades and refurbishments of the plant, mainly the paint shop can be on scheduled or modular basis but are not an immediate requirement to attain break-even operations," he said.

WMMI is a joint venture company between the Zimbabwe government through the IDC and two Japanese companies, Mazda Motor Corporation and Itochu Corporation.

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