Volkswagen will tomorrow launch its car sharing model in Rwanda, to address the existing problem of mobility in the country.
The ‘Car Hailing’ model is expected to create competition among the existing car rental services which offer similar services on phone call orders.
VW has contracted local Rwandan app developers- Awesomity Lab to provide the car sharing application – ‘Ride Hailing Car’ – which has been used in Nigeria.
According to VW press release, in the car sharing model in Rwanda, clients will use phones and access apps to unlock and then use the car in their travels.
They will order VW taxi to move them from one location to another and after using the vehicle, they would leave at an appropriate parking to serve the next user.
In case the first user comes back, they would find the same vehicle or another one for the same service and comfort.
VW venture is based on statistics which indicated that there are only 30 vehicles in Sub Saharan Africa per 1,000 people, yet the region has 920 million people and until 2050 this number could more than double.
At the same time experts predict a significant growth in per capita income.
In Rwanda alone, the number of cars has almost doubled from 105,545 in 2011 to 183,703 in 2016, according to report by to National Institute of Statistic (NISR).
“Rwanda is a young, modern and digital country – and because of that, it is perfectly suited for new, interconnected mobility services,” said VW Group South Africa CEO, Thomas Schaefer, who is responsible for the sub-Saharan region composed of 49 countries.
“I’m convinced, that our planned business ideas will be taken up well by our customers. The valuable experiences we are gaining from the mobility services here in Rwanda should in future also benefit the Volkswagen brand in other markets.”
The German based automobile company is already present in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria and with operations in Algeria.
In Rwanda, Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda, a $20 million operation includes an assembly plant located in Kigali Special Economic Zone, car sharing, and ride-hailing system.
In a press statement, VW doesn’t show how much will be charged to rent a car, but indication show that the carmaker will start with a car sharing model in their initial operations.
In an earlier communication VW said it would begin with assembling 1,000 cars at its new in-country plant, including the Polo and Passat.
Already the Passat models have been seen on the Kigali streets and tested during the recent Transform Africa 2018 Summit held in Kigali in May.
We are ready for them – existing car Rental Companies
Existing car rental operators say that they are not afraid of the competition and VW entry will be a benchmark for better services.
“There is no competition, and if it’s there it will be health in business. For us we are confident given the reputation we have built for years, we are cheaper and we give opportunity to our customers to negotite prices,” said Felix Nzamwita the owner of Amani Tours which has been in the trade for 20 years.
From Wednesday onward Volkswagen will be a new significant factor on the streets of Kigali as VW uses its chances in Africa to significantly expand its reach.