Chinese Automaker, Build Your Dreams Auto, Opens a New Assembly Plant in Ethiopia

Photo: BYD (Build Your Dreams) Auto Product – F3 Model (being sold as GLI and GI brands in Ethiopia)

By Birhanu Fikade
Jan. 27, 2013

Chinese Carmaker Joins Ethiopian Assembly Business

BYD (Build Your Dreams) Auto Company, a Chinese auto company, is set to assemble some models of the BYD auto brands here. The company, established in 1995, manufactured lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries mostly for mobile phones. It then began making cars.  Betret International PLC made the subsidiary agreement with BYD in 2011. It has secured some five hectares of land from the Oromia Regional State, in the town of Adama. Currently, a 7,000 sq.m. plot of land has been dedicated to the assembly line. The business model will include sales and aftersales services across major towns here.

Kasahun Admassu, managing director of Betret International PLC, says his company has now started assembling BYD F3 model cars with 1.5 CC horsepower. F3 cars are becoming available to the Ethiopian market under the name GLI and GI at a 439,000 and 419,000 Ethiopian Birr (ETB), respectively ($ USD 23,950 and $22,860).

The F3 cars are said to consume a litter of fuel for a 16 km. drive. The other features of BYD cars has a minimum ground clearance of 17 cm high. According to Biniyam Workalemahu, factory manager at BYD-Betret, the cars assembled here have capacities to serve the best to customers, just as they would for the American and European markets. In the near future, the assembly line is said to bring in its molding and others critical machines. He also mentioned that BYD manufactures all the 800 parts and engines of its cars.

Photo: Wang Chuanfu, President and founder of BYD

Once the market is set, they will set the assembly line to reach 7000 units a year. For the time being, having 17 employees, the company assembles four units per day. The assembly line has four trims and in each trim two local assemblers are lined up. According to Kassahun, most of the employees joined his company right out of Adama University and TVET Colleges. Before he met his Chinese counterparts, his company, Betret International, was involved in the import business. He deals with heavy-duty machineries and equipment, many for construction purposes.

Click here for more images of Wang Chuanfu

The company was started with a ten million birr ($550,000 USD) initial capital and now operates with some forty million birr (~ $2.2 million USD).

Since 2004, BYD auto has grown in millions for auto sales across the global market. In 2011 alone, they sold more than 456 million cars worldwide. That however, was much lower than the previous year’s total sale. BYD has some ten branded models including JETTA and Cruze models. But, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), F3 stood number one in sale in China in 2010. BYD has some production bases in 23 countries, a majority of them planted in China. Next to Egypt and The Sudan, Ethiopia has become the third in the subsidiary line of assembly factories.

For more information, please visit BYD website here and its profile on Wikipedia here.

Source: The Reporter

Related News

Betret International Partners with Build Your Dreams (BYD) Auto for a Car Assembly Plant in Adama, Ethiopia

By Zeryihun Kassa
Jan 23, 2013

Betret International PLC in cooperation with BYD AUTO, a Chinese company, has set up a car assembly plant in Adama on 50 thousand square meters.

Beteret BYD Assembly Factory has been erected on 7 thousand square meter area. At its current capacity, factory General Manager Kassahun Admasu told ERTA, the plant can assemble four cars a day. When the factory goes fully operational, it is expected to assemble 20 cars a day.

According to the general manager, what is unique about this assembly plant is that it takes its cars for sale with no prior payment. Buyers simply pay and take their cars right away, Kassahun explained.

Now it is assembling Betret F3 model cars, which they said are popular model in China and European markets. ERTA learned the price of the cars currently on sale are up to 430 thousand Birr.

Documents indicate BYD AUTO, the Chinese Company, is a growing popular industry in the Chinese car market.

The Factory sees to further skill transfer to its young labour force and get on production of some parts that can be managed with resources available here.

As the middle class gets increasingly growing income, reports show, the car industry is expanding in Ethiopia. Yet some say still relatively the price of cars in this country is costlier than it is in neighboring states. This shows there is still room for more assembly plants.

The media tour the factory made today manifests that Betret BYD Assembly Factory is one such plant that brings in competition in to the car market here in Ethiopia.

Source: ERTA