Mr Michael Okyere Baafi (third from right),Mr Kassem M. Odaymat (right) and other dignitaries inspecting the Phoenix Ashok Leyland truck at the unveiling ceremony.Photo. Ebo Gorman

 The government is in the process of developing an Automotive Component Manufacturing Development Policy, to attract investments from component manufacturer, to feed into the local automotive indus­try while supplying aftermarket components across the sub-region, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, has said.

The Policy he said sought to promote the development of the whole automotive industry to encompass the entire value chain of the sector.

The minister disclosed this at the launch of Rana Motors’ new Ashok Leyland Phoenix model in Accra on Wednesday.

The Phoenix Ashok Leyland truck which was assembled in Gha­na at the Rana Motors and Metal Works Engineering Company Lim­ited Assembly Plant, Amasaman in the Ga West Municipal Assembly offers a class-leading comfort that sets the benchmark in the commer­cial vehicle industry, with its dash­board ergonomically designed with the controls placed intelligently.

The vehicle comes with multi-angle adjustable seats with tilt-able steering column and telescopic movements, while the two-point suspended cabin offers comfort and convenience.

The minister said the policy, when developed, would enhance the availability of certified parts and assembly components, to drive the export of made-in-Ghana vehi­cles under Africa Continental Free Trade Area rules.

“It will also enable Ghana to harness its aluminum, iron and steel, silica, and rubber for use in expanding the automotive indus­try,” he added.

He commended Rana Motors and its partners, Ashok Leyland for making Ghana the vehicle manu­facturing hub within the sub-region under the Ghana Automotive Development Policy.

He urged Ashok Leyland to en­gage its OE Components Suppliers to establish their production plants in Ghana to take advantage of preferential market access to both the West African Regional and the continental markets.

“I want to also assure the Auto­mobile Assemblers Association of Ghana of the government’s com­mitment to fully implement the Ghana Automotive Development Policy to enable them fully realise their business potential and unlock markets for their products,” he added.

The Chief Operating Offi­cer, Rana Motors, Kassem M. Odaymat, said the Phoenix truck is a two-tonne payload pick-up built on an all-new platform that is powered by a 1500 cc Tur­bo-charged diesel engine that de­livers 80 Hp of maximum power and 190Nm of peak torque.

He said it came with different applications such as high-side deck (caged truck), refrigerated cargo van (reefer), dry van (pre-fabricated container), and DSD (Drop-Down side Deck) standard truck.

The Head of International Operations, Ashok Leyland, Mr Rajesh R., assured of their con­tinuous commitment to partner Rana Motors to innovate, excel and drive progress in shaping “a future where transportation is not just a necessity, but a seamless experi­ence.”

The First Secretary and Acting High Commissioner of India to Ghana, Mr Chinpau Ngaihte, for his part, commended the efforts of Rana Motors and Ashok Leyland for their dedication and hard work in making the project a reality, and thanked the President for his outstanding leadership in devel­oping the automotive market and supporting the development of the Ashok Leyland vehicles’ assembly plant.