Beach buggies, beautiful scenery, and about 30 unnecessary minutes.
Having secured $50 million in funding thanks to the Pan-African Investment Company, Mobius can finally put the latest evolution of its low-cost SUV into production. Things have changed some in the two years since the Mobius Two was first announced as a form of inexpensive, go-anywhere transport for Africa: the initial price of $6,000 has risen to $10,000 and it's now called the Mobius II.
Corruption is a big problem around the world, but perhaps nowhere more than in African dictatorships. Proof? Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries on the African continent, the citizens of Equatorial Guinea live in abject poverty. Clean drinking water is available to less than half the populace, and one in five children is dead before their fifth birthday.
Ultra low-cost transportation doesn't have a particularly successful history in the recent past. Just ask Tata. The company's Nano subcompact was supposed to revolutionize the way low-income families the world over moved themselves, but as it turns out, even those with no money don't want to be seen in a vehicle known primarily for its cheapness. Even so, one company is working to give rural Africans a shot at changing their lives with a new low-cost SUV. Nairobi-based Mobius Motors wants to bui
Venturi does more than create whimsical concept vehicles for auto shows. The company also supports electric vehicles going on long-distance adventures, like from Shanghai to Paris. The latest mission sends an EV along 4,800 kilometres (2,982 miles) from Kenya to South Africa. The trip started last month and the car already has 3,500 km (2,174 mi) under its tires. Venturi says the trip represents "a fabulous human and technological adventure in the interest of sustainable development."
According to Ford, 70 percent of the company's growth in the next decade will come from the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. The Blue Oval had only planned to have 310 dealerships in China at the end of 2010, but having sold nearly half a million cars this year and expecting the boom to continue, the number has jumped to 340 dealers. This is part of Ford's larger plan to add 100 new dealerships in China, mostly in smaller cities and inland provinces where new car demand is high.
Now we're talking! If there's one thing we're in favor of its pushing cars to their breaking point. See LeMons. But what about pushing cars past their breaking point? Like across Africa? That's exactly what British journalist and adventurer Brian Milton did in 1968 when he took a 1937 Austin 7 Ruby and drove it across the Sahara Desert to meet his fiancee.
There aren't enough police in some areas of Nigeria, so vigilante groups have formed to take up the slack. When vigilantes in Kwara State saw two men trying to carjack a Mazda 323, they went after the baddies. One of the men escaped, but the other man, cornered... um, how do we say this... turned himself into a goat. (That's the actual goat/suspect pictured.) Even as a goat, "he" was apparently just as easy to catch, and the vigilantes took the goat to the police station.
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