4 Aug 21

Meet Mureza, Africa’s first black-owned OEM

Registered in South Africa and Zimbabwe, Mureza Auto Company is Africa’s first black-owned car building company. Sales of its Prim8 (say: “primate”) hatchback are starting now.

Just about now, Mureza is launching the first batch of 100 Prim8’s onto the southern African market. The vehicles can be pre-ordered and reserved for about €2,500, for delivery in either South Africa or Zimbabwe.

Joint venture

Mureza is a relative newcomer to the automotive scene. It debuted in 2019 at Automechanika Johannesburg, the South African spinoff of the German trade-only automotive fair, where it announced a joint venture with SAIPA, the Iranian car manufacturer. The joint venture has since received financial backing from the UAE, and a licence to build and distribute its cars in South Africa. 

Based on SAIPA’s Quick, which was released in Iran in March 2017, Mureza’s Prim8 (pictured) is a third-generation crossover with the architecture of a third-generation Kia Rio. The Prim8 is being assembled from SKD kits at the Automotive Supplier Park in Rosslyn, near Pretoria.

Quality and affordability

Mureza’s ambition is to “bring quality and affordable vehicles to the African continent,” says CEO Tatenda Mungofa, and eventually “to become the leading car manufacturer in Africa.” 

The Prim8, for now only available with a petrol engine, will sell at around €11,300 in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Its specifications include keyless opening and closing, Bluetooth and satnav, touchscreen and rear camera, ABS brakes, and tire pressure monitoring. 

Other models in development include the T1, a bakkie – i.e. the pickup segment that is very popular in Southern Africa. It and other models are set to roll out next year. 


Image: Mureza Auto Company

Authored by: Frank Jacobs