Michael Joseph joins Kenya made low cost vehicle firm


The auto company this month started selling its car, which trades under the brand name Mobius, at a price of Sh950, 000 – making it the lowest priced new vehicle in the country.

It lists Mr Joseph as a marketing expert and is betting on his experience that saw him turn the mobile telecommunication firm from a start-up into the most profitable firm in the region.

Mr Joseph, 68, retired in 2010 after serving for a decade, but remains in the board of the firm and is an employee of Vodafone, which owns 40 per cent of the Nairobi bourse listed mobile telecommunication company.

Mr Joseph and Joel Jackson, the brain behind Mobius Motors, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The firm has also appointed a former top Ford executive, Alain Batty, as sales expert.

Greg Bellopatrick is the engineering expert at Mobius Motors and previously served as chief engineer at General Motors while the design expert is Patrick Le Quement, formerly the automotive designer at Ford and Volkswagen-Audi Group.

Thika-based Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) is the maker of the car that is designed for Africa’s rough terrain and off-road driving. The vehicle is stripped of extras such as air conditioning, power steering and many internal fixtures.

Mobius has opened a showroom at Sameer Business Park on Nairobi’s Mombasa Road and is mainly targeting rural transport that runs on bad roads.

READ: Kenya made car goes on sale at Sh950,000

The car has a capacity of eight passengers, including the driver, and a large loading space. Mobius’ promoters are also banking on the vehicle’s efficient fuel consumption and easy maintenance to establish it as the car for rural folks.

Mobius has a loading capacity of 625 kilogrammes and can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour on a five-speed manual gear.

Mobius retail price is at par with what many Kenyans pay for used cars, making quality and features such as fuel consumption, availability of spare parts and after sales service critical for consumer buy-in.

This is where the insights of Mr Joseph will be needed. During his stint at Safaricom, he increased its subscriber base to more than 16 million from 17,000. Safaricom had 19.4 million subscribers in March.
He also pioneered the successful M-Pesa mobile money transfer service, which Mr Joseph is helping replicate in other markets as Vodafone’s managing director for mobile money.



By SIMON CIURI, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Posted Monday, October 27 2014 at 01:00


Courtesy of Business Daily