The network of Namibian Motor Trade
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In 2018 the Namibian government, in partnership with Groupe PSA, inaugurated the first Peugeot assembly plant in Walvis Bay. The aim was to be able to assemble 5000 vehicles per year by 2020, with the Peugeot 3008 and Opel Grandland X being the flagship models. Unfortunately, the plant missed its 2020 production target by a significant margin. By early July, only 90 new cars have been assembled.
This shortfall can likely be attributed to two things: procedural hiccups around customs duties and a depression of the market as a result of COVID-19. Luckily, neither of these issues is insurmountable. There is also sufficient political will to see this project succeed, as it has been identified as a big contributor to the improvement of the Namibian economic landscape. Its success will also mean a wider, cheaper range of available options for car enthusiasts.
Keep in mind that the cars assembled at Walvis Bay Peugeot are earmarked for distribution to Sacu (Southern African Customs Union) partners, including Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. Given that the plant was only able to assemble 90 new cars, there won’t be many new Peugeots available on the local market. At the same time, there are only a handful of pre-owned Peugeots available on the second hand market.
Let’s take a look at the upcoming Peugeot 3008 to see whether or not this is a car worthy of the government’s investment.
The Peugeot 3008 is marketed as a family-style SUV. It’s got a very vivid, striking appearance that draws the eye. The interior is spacious, comfortable and high tech. Everything you can touch is adjustable to your preferences. There is a mixture of cloth and leather finishing, complementing the warm, stylish look. Ambient LED lighting also adds to the relaxed mood when sitting behind the wheel.
The car comes standard with the usual list of safety features: air bags, alarms, central locking, ABS, cruise control, and Electronic Stability Programme to name but a few. The instrument panel contains a digital touch screen that can also be controlled with buttons on the steering wheel. The sound system allows input from USB and Bluetooth devices. This model also goes a long way to almost parking itself.
Under the hood you have a 1.6l 4-cylinder engine, with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All available information points to the car only being available as a petrol model, with a 53-liter fuel tank. Manufacturer specifications indicate that you’ll obtain 100kms per 7 liters of fuel on average, if you plan on driving in both rural and urban areas. According to Sharon Garson, spokesperson for Peugeot Citroen SA, locally assembled models also come with a protective metal sheet under the powertrain. This is a first for vehicles of this type in the region. Last, but not least, it offers a whopping 1600 liters of boot space.
Would you be surprised to know that the 3008 has won the European Car of the Year award? Not once, but three times. Despite this the car is priced at a very accommodating N$420,000. This is a steal when compared to the competion being priced from N$450,000 to N$650,000! Unfortunately, the lack of availability means you probably might have to resort to stealing if you want to own one in the near future. Until such time as they do become more available, servicing and maintenance might be a bit of a headache. Always bear this in mind when considering buying a new or used car.
Fortunately, the Peugeot 3008’s predecessor, the Peugeot 2008 is one of the models available for purchase on the second hand market. Consider buying one in the meantime and becoming familiar with a relatively unfamiliar car in the Namibian context. As an added benefit, know that when you do decide to upgrade to the 3008, the overwhelming agreement is that the 3008 is superior to the 2008 in every way imaginable. See it as investing in your future self’s driving pleasure. The Namibian government definitely is!
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