Company NameMobius Motors Limited
Mobius Motors designs, manufactures and sells highly durable, highly affordable vehicles designed specifically for the African consumer at a price the mass market can afford ($9k).
The vast majority of vehicles in Africa today are imported from affluent countries with good roads, such as Japan, where they are designed for a starkly different customer need – disconnected from local demand for more affordable and durable vehicles.
Africa’s passenger car market is large and growing. According to the World Bank and International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, within Kenya, 69,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $488 million in revenues. The market in Kenya is expected to grow by 25% in the next 4 years. Across East Africa, 140,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $1.1 billion in revenues. Across Africa, over 1,250,000 passenger cars were sold in 2014, with sales generating $10 billion in revenues. Mobius Motor’s target market, middle income households with income of $10k – $20k per year, is projected to grow by 64% by 2020.
To serve African market demand, Mobius is reimagining the car. They have heavily simplified the product by excluding costly non-essential technologies and interior fixtures while maximizing durability for degraded roads with robust suspension and handling, all while aligning to core European and US safety standards and exceeding minimum safety requirements in Kenya and East Africa. They have simplified the development process by integrating proven off-the-shelf parts to create a vehicle with the key performance of an off-road car sold at a price equal to the price of a used imported sedan. Their product empowers entrepreneurs who can access financing to use their Mobius cars to run a myriad of business-in-a-box transport services – from public transport, to mobile medical care, to goods delivery. These businesses will change the capacity and utility of Africa’s transport network, connecting end-users to hospitals, schools and markets in even the most rural areas.
- Joel Jackson, CEO (Imperial College (B.Eng., 1st Class Honors), TED Fellow, Forbes 30 under 30, Wired Innovation Fellow)
- Sunru Yong, COO (Washington University in St. Louis (BA, MA), Harvard Business School (MBA), Bain)
- Alain Batty – former CEO of Russia and Executive Director of Asia-Pacific at the Ford Motor Company
- Greg Bellopatrick – former Chief Engineer North America at General Motors
- David Benello – Director Emeritus, Automotive expert at McKinsey & Co.
- Henry Gnacke – former Executive Director of Global Purchasing for Propulsion, Fuel Cells and Powertrain at General Motors
- Keith Takasawa – former Director of Strategic Business Modeling and Chief Platform Engineer at the Ford Motor Company
- Michael Joseph – form CEO of Safaricom
- Patrick le Quément – former head of Corporate Desing at Renault Worldwide
- Andrew Youn – founder and Executive Director of One Acre Fund
Africa’s poorest consumers – 550m people – are largely immobile. The extremely low coverage of appropriate transportation services means millions of people struggle every day to gain access to healthcare, education, employment and markets to buy and sell goods. This is compounded by chronic government underinvestment in roads and public transit.
Mobius was founded on a belief that mobility is a critical connector to access development catalysts like education, healthcare, markets and employment. Mobius creates a platform for mobility, not just with more affordable and more durable vehicles, but more broadly with business advice and financing options that empower entrepreneurs to use their Mobius cars to operate relevant transport businesses to lower income end-users in their communities.