While luxury cars dominate the Dubai Motor Show as they do the emirate’s roads, this year’s show also hosted Dubai’s Avanti Motors, who are looking to sell auto-rickshaws to Africa.
Though the African market is already awash with the marketing machinations of the world’s boutique supercar brands, particularly in South Africa, Venkat Narayanan, general manager of Avanti Motors, is looking to further his rickshaw business at the other end of the market.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he noted: “We are already into Africa, but now we want to go beyond certain African countries, and we feel Dubai is the hub for that.”
“We are stationed here in Dubai, and we are targeting the many Africans that we know visit this motor show from previous experience. We want to go full blast into the African market.”
According to Narayanan, a Piaggio rickshaw built in India with Italian technology has a landed cost of about $2,200 to $2,500 in Africa. An Indian staple, the hope is its low cost, maintenance and gas consumption, at around 25 km/litre, will prove popular.
He continued: “We’re trying to replace the used car market in Africa. Maybe 90% of the cars running in Africa are used cars. We are trying to substitute these three-wheelers into those markets.”
Avanti is also thinking about marketing some of the vehicles locally in the UAE, believing the vehicle might also be congenial to the needs of farmers in getting around their properties.