An Iveco Daily minibus assembly line started production in Abidjan early this year, making the Ivory Coast the first country in Africa to produce minibuses. The factory is also the first in the history of the country to produce an Ivorian brand vehicle, the “Iveco Daily Ivoire”.
The Iveco Daily Ivoire is a minibus which can have from 16 to 26 seats and is powered by natural gas engines. It is the first gas vehicle to be produced in Africa.
The inauguration ceremony took place on Monday 10th January and was attended by the Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Patrick Achi, senior representatives of the Ivorian Government, as well as the Italian Ambassador, Arturo Luzzi, and Stéphane Espinasse, Head of Sales & Products, Iveco Bus.
The Iveco production unit was installed at the SOTRA INDUSTRIE plant in Abidjan. The project, which began in 2018, is the most recent outcome of a collaboration between Iveco Bus, an Iveco Group brand and leading manufacturer of buses and coaches, and SOTRA (Société des Transports Abidjanais), the public transit provider for Abidjan and its suburbs, that started nearly 40 years ago.
The new plant has an annual production capacity of 1,000 units and employs 500 people. The Iveco Daily Ivoire is powered by natural gas engines from FPT Industrial, another Iveco Group brand and a renowned leader in propulsion technologies. The first 60 Daily Ivoire minibuses have already rolled off the production line.
The partnership between Iveco and SOTRA is focused on the transfer of technology from Italy to the Ivory Coast, the promotion of environmental standards, and training and job creation.
The minibuses are destined for the Ivory Coast market and for export to other African countries, starting with Western and Central Africa, confirming the role of the Ivory Coast as a regional industrial hub. .
This contributes to the Ivorian Government’s extensive programme for modernising the transport supply and diversifying the national economy through industrialisation. The agreement also highlights Iveco’s continued commitment to sustainable mobility in Africa.
The Ivory Coast is characterized by a fast-growing economy, with an annual GDP growth rate of 6%, making it an interesting destination for Italian companies. Italy is present in the country especially in the woodworking, maritime transport, agri-food, infrastructure, and tourism sectors.