Hyundai comes to the rescue of Angola’s hailing economy with a plan to build a factory to assemble heavy-duty vehicles

A worker works at an assembly line of Hyundai Motor's plant in Asan.
  • Hyundai has announced plans to build a factory in Angola to assemble heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Seong Kwon Han, the group’s sales director for commercial vehicles said the plant would initially oversee the assembly of buses and trucks.
  • A global slump in the price of crude and the failure of the authorities to diversify the economy, has plunged Angola into a serious financial crisis.

South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai Motors has come to the rescue of Angola’s hailing economy with a proposal to set up the company’s first car factory in the country.

Hyundai has announced plans to build a factory in Angola to assemble heavy-duty vehicles as it moves to help the oil-rich African nation diversify her economy from oil-based to expanding her manufacturing sector.

Seong Kwon Han, the group’s sales director for commercial vehicles said the plant would initially oversee the assembly of buses and trucks.

“We analysed the strategy and the pricing policy, as well as the quality of the spare parts that will support the assembly process,” he said.

The company has not said where the assembly plant will be located or when it plans to start operations as negotiations with the Angolan government are ongoing.

Angola’s economy is currently struggling following a slump in the prices of crude oil.

After the end of Angola's bloody civil war in 2002, the country enjoyed a decade of rapid growth fuelled by its booming oil sector.

But in 2014, a global slump in the price of crude, which accounts for 70% of government revenues, and the failure of the authorities to diversify the economy, plunged Angola into a serious financial crisis.

Despite the crisis, however, it is not likely that Angola will reduce its focus on exploring oil. Another deep-water oil reserve estimated to hold up to 650 million barrels was recently found 180-km off-shore by Italy's Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI).

One year after the election of President Joao Lourenco, the oil-rich nation is still waiting for the economic "miracle" that he promised on the campaign trail.

Angola’s proposed heavy-duty plant comes in the back of the Asian car manufacturer opening its first car assembly plant in East Africa.

On February, Hyundai officially opened its first car assembly plant with a capacity to produce 10,000 vehicles in eight different models per year at the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Passenger hatchback cars and trucks are some of the vehicles that are expected to roll off the assembly line at the plant, which was established at a cost of half a billion Birr, located just outside of the capital.

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