The first black-owned car building company, Mureza Auto Company, registered in Zimbabwe and South Africa will release the first batch of 100 Prim8 badged vehicles into the local market this week.
Mureza Auto debuted at Automechanika Johannesburg two years ago where it announced a joint venture with the Iranian SAIPA Group (Société Anonyme Iranienne de Production Automobile, as registered in French) based in Tehran.
The company, backed by funders in the United Arab Emirates and other investors, has recently been granted a licence to build and distribute its Prim8 models, based on the SAIPA Quick, in South Africa. It is currently assembled from SKD kits in the Automotive Supplier Park in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
Mureza CEO, Tatenda Mungofa, described this step as “a major milestone in our vision to become the leading car manufacturer in Africa. To the African market, the wait is almost over. We are working in the background to ensure we bring quality and affordable vehicles to the African continent.”
Mureza states the Prim8 is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 87kW. However, it seems the correct figure for the 1 503cc M15-powerplant (as indicated for the Quick) is 65kW, with maximum torque of 128Nm at 4 000rpm, driving the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or a CVT.
The comprehensive specification of the top model includes keyless entry, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, satnav, reversing camera, cruise control, parking sensors, audio system, air conditioning, power-adjustable driver’s seat, four airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes and tyre pressure monitoring.