After years of innovations, experiments and exhibitions, the Great Kosa Automobile Company Limited is set to begin commercial production of vehicles in Ghana.
The company, which is owned by renowned Ghanaian industrialist, Apostle Kwadwo Safo, the founder of Kristo Asafo Mission, has successfully put its new automobile assembling plant to test.
Seven sleek Kantanka-branded vehicles – three 4X4 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and four pick-ups – produced from the assembling plant at Gomoa Mpota in the Central Region, are set to hit the roads as the company stands ready to begin commercial automobile production.
According to an interior decorator of the company, Mr Kwasi Frimpong, who conducted a Daily Graphic team round the assembling plant, at the moment, the facility could produce four 4X4 SUV and four pick-up vehicles daily.
But officials of the company say in the long term, the assembling plant will produce at least 20 vehicles daily. The assembling plant
The assembling plant was installed in April 2014, following a collaboration with a Chinese investor.
Currently, it operates two lines – one for SUV vehicles and the other for pick-up vehicles.
Mr Frimpong says there are plans to establish another plant for the production of saloon cars in the near future.
The assembling plant has five components: the welding, chemical, spraying, general assembling and testing units.
The production process begins from the welding unit where completely knocked-down parts imported by the company are welded into the skeletal body of SUV and pick-up vehicles.
From the welding unit, the skeleton of the vehicle is moved to the chemical room where it is passed through three different chemicals to make the body stronger and prevent it from corrosion.
The skeleton of the vehicle then moves to the spraying room for washing, spraying and baking.
The next stage is the general assembling room where all the parts of the vehicle are fixed by auto mechanics, interior decorators, electricians and other technical staff.
It then moves to the testing unit where the lights, brakes, horn, durability and other systems of the vehicle are subjected to rigorous testing.
If the test results in a failure to meet required standards, the vehicle is sent back to the general assembling room for rectification.
Mr Frimpong says one of the 4X4 SUV vehicles produced from the plant is currently being used by Mr Kwadwo Safo Jnr, son of Apostle Safo. Saloon cars
There are concerns that the production of 4X4 SUV and pick-up vehicles by Great Kosa Automobile Company Limited may be beyond the reach of the middle class of the society.
In response to those concerns, the company has initiated moves to install another assembling plant for the production of saloon vehicles.
Mr Frimpong says the essence of installing another assembling plant is to open a new line for the production of saloon vehicles since the first plant has only two lines for 4X4 SUV and pick-up vehicles. Challenge
Over the years, one major challenge that seems to confront Great Kosa Automobile Company Limited is patronage and promotion of its locally manufactured vehicles.
Although successive governments have publicly pledged their support and desire to promote the products of the company, those pledges have not been translated into action.
Apostle Safo says in India, for instance, the government provides support to the growth of the automobile industry in that country.
But in Ghana, he says: ‘We’ve spoken a lot but all to no avail; they always give promises but nothing is done’.
Perhaps, Apostle Safo is not playing the right political card required to move any government into acting beyond rhetoric.
But the leader of the Kristo Asafo Mission says: ‘I am a statesman and so I am not interested in politics’.
‘A day will come when dawn will break,’ he added. No discouragement
In spite of the broken promises by successive governments, Apostle Safo says he is not discouraged, as he sticks to his unwavering commitment to demonstrate the technical abilities of the black man.
‘I am a pastor. God called me to show blacks that we have natural resources; so why are we poor?’ he asked.
Credit: Kofi Yeboah
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