Motor & Engineering Company of Ethiopia (MOENCO), the sole importer of Toyota vehicles, is constructing a Toyota Service Centre for 700 million Br.
The new facility will have 80 service bays and can maintain up to 25,000 vehicles a year. The centre will be located in Aqaqi-Qality district on a 20,000Sqm plot. Construction of the project started in December 2018 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 when it will provide job opportunities for 300 people.
GERETTA Consulting Architects & Engineering, which has overseen the construction of the Oromia Cultural Centre and Century Mall, is consulting on the project. The construction will be carried out by the 17-year-old Bamacon Engineering Plc, which was contracted to build the Embassy of Rwanda and Kanoria Africa Textile.
Once completed, the service centre will have a central lab system, a showroom, onboard diagnostic systems, wheel alignment and automatic exhaust gas extraction. It will provide services such as vehicle and part sales, periodic maintenance, general and collision repair.
MOENCO, which has nine branches across Ethiopia and employs 1,500 people, is also investing 110 million Br to modernise its service delivery. CDK, a London-based company, was contracted to install Autoline-DMS, a dealer management system for all of its branches.
"It will create the ultimate customer experience," said Seife Getahun, finance director of MOENCO.
With an annual turnover of four billion Birr, MOENCO has been operating in Ethiopia since 1968 as a subsidiary of Inchcape, a London-based company engaged in global distribution and retail in the automotive sector in over 30 countries across five continents.
MOENCO is one of the largest automotive companies in Ethiopia, which already has 19 vehicle assemblers and over 800,000 vehicles, though 90pc of demand is met by imports. It is also an agent to brands such as Komatsu, New Holland Agriculture, Hino Motors, Cummins Generators and Suzuki Motorcycles.
During the last fiscal year, Ethiopia spent 544.3 million dollars to import vehicles.
Over the past two decades, MOENCO has invested more than one billion Birr in branch expansions, service outlets and parts distribution centres.
MOENCO's new service centre project is an investment that experts have applauded.
Such service centres will contribute to the growth of the industry by bringing new technology, besides reducing the problem of maintenance in the country, according to Eshetie Berhan (PhD), associate professor at Addis Abeba University's School of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering.
"MOENCO should move toward the manufacturing of spare parts," said Eshetie.