He announced this, when President Akufo-Addo witnessed the signing in Tokyo, Japan, of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Ghana and the TTC for the establishment of a Toyota and Suzuki Assembly Plant in Ghana.
Thanking the government of President Akufo-Addo for its help and support towards the realization of this project, Mr. Ichiro Kashitani stated that “we consider the project of the assembly plant a marriage. It lasts for life, and it is a long-term project.”
The Chief Operations Officer of the company in charge of the Africa division of Toyota Tsusho, Mr. Imai Toshimitsu, also at the meeting, noted that the decision to set up in Ghana has been necessitated by the favourable economic climate prevailing in the country.
“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 explained.
He added that, the decision to assemble Suzuki vehicles in Ghana followed the acquisition on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, of a 4.9 per cent stake in Suzuki by Toyota Tsusho, thus making Toyota 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 added.
President Akufo-Addo stated that the signing of the MoU with Toyota Tsusho was in line with the vision of making Ghana an automotive hub for West Africa and the larger African market.
He noted that with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), “Ghana is the base to reach this larger African market.”
The TTC, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), and CFAO announced last March of a joint venture arrangement to assemble and distribute vehicles in Ghana.
The SMC’s General Manager for the Middle East and Africa, Koyote Suzuki, during a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, said, “We came to know from Toyota that the Ghanaian government is planning to roll out a new automotive policy. We heard this from Toyota executives who paid a visit here last month. We are highly interested in participating in this initiative by the Ghanaian government. We wish to start production here, grow it and expand it.”