Made in Ghana Toyota in 2020

Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan has pledged that it will introduce its first assembled vehicle in Ghana by August next year.

Ichiro Kashitani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, made this known when his outfit signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Ghana in Tokyo. It was for the establishment of a Toyota and Suzuki Assembly Plant in Ghana.

Expressing appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for the support his administration had accorded Toyota Tsusho Corporation until now, Mr. Kashitani described the vehicle assembling project in Ghana as a long-lasting marriage.

Imai Toshimitsu, Chief Operations Officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation in charge of the Africa division, said the corporation was attracted to set up a plant in Ghana because the country’s economic climate was conducive.

He said the MoU detailed the nature of work, the volumes and models of the vehicles to be produced in Ghana.

“The products to be assembled in Ghana include the Toyota Hilux pickup, which is already popular in Ghana. Since it will be locally produced, I hope it will be more popular. We are also planning to introduce small passenger cars, with two Suzuki brands,” Mr Toshimitsu highlighted.

He continued that Toyota bought a 4.9 per cent stake in Suzuki on Wednesday which made the former a “principal shareholder” in Suzuki. “So, Suzuki products will be assembled and sold in Ghana. The cars which will be produced in Ghana are our core models for Africa and Ghana customers,” he pointed out.

President Akufo-Addo said his administration aimed at making Ghana an automotive hub in West Africa and Africa especially with the actualization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is headquartered in Accra, Ghana.

In March this year, officials from Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Suzuki Motor Corporation, and CFAO announced a joint venture arrangement to assemble and distribute vehicles in Ghana. This culminated in a visit of the aforementioned companies to the Jubilee House on March 19.

It was at that meeting that Koyote Suzuki, General Manager for the Middle East and Africa of Suzuki Motor Corporation, told President Akufo-Addo that they needed a right partner in Africa for manufacturing and distribution after sale of their vehicles.