WINDHOEK – Cabinet recently authorized Transworld Cargo to conduct vehicle testing operations on limited public roads in the //Karas Region, specifically in the Keetmanshoop and Aus areas.
Transworld Cargo (TWC), which is a Namibian company, says it wishes to make Namibia a vehicle testing hub and thus identified the //Karas Region as preferential for vehicle testing due to its climatic conditions and low traffic volumes.
For more than 15 years, TWC has been the leading logistics partner for GATS Global Automotive Testing Support GmbH, a German company providing support services to world-class vehicle manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Audi and Daimler for vehicle testing. According to a statement from Cabinet the vehicle testing operations has potential economic benefits for Namibia such as, inter alia, employment creation opportunities.
“The vehicle testing operations will provide cash influx into the region with the local expenditure estimation amounting to N$75 000 per vehicle per season. For instance, a VW pilot test team of 20 cars alone would generate expenses in Namibia of approximately N$1.5 million. This amount is expected to multiply in future,” reads the statement.
On employment creation, vehicle testing is expected to employ local personnel with technical and local knowledge as co-drivers and guides.
The fields of technical and maintenance support, petrol provision, security, logistics and the hospitality industry will also provide indirect employment benefits for upstream and downstream service providers.
Moreover, internet service providers such as Telecom and MTC could also benefit as the internet utilization per team is estimated to will amount to N$20 000.
Currently, lead manufacturers such as Audi, Daimler, Porsche, BMW, Volvo, Ford and Fiat operate about 400 to 500 vehicles in South Africa’s Northern Cape Region from November to March.
During winter (cold) season the vehicle testing is done in Finland and Sweden while during the summer (heat) season the vehicle testing is conducted in the United States of America (USA) and South Africa.
If authorized, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is also expected to generate revenue from this initiative as the testing company wishes to utilize the Keetmanshoop airport facilities. Air Namibia will also benefit from airfreight shipments of equipment and personnel.
“Should the VW pilot operation team succeed in its endeavour this obviously will draw other VW teams and potential manufacturers to Namibia as this initiative will showcase Namibia to the international world,” concluded the Cabinet statement availed to the media.
By Staff Reporter