Kagame’s Rwanda Has Not Been Kind To Volkswagen

By David Himbara

On June 27, 2018, Volkswagen launched its workshop that assembles knock-down car kits shipped from South Africa. A German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) examined Volkswagen’s progress in Rwanda nearly a year since entering the market. Written by Thilo Thielke, FAZ’s correspondent based in South Africa who travelled to Rwanda to conduct the research, the report confirms what we already knew. Rwandans are too poor to buy Volkswagen vehicles.

The most shocking finding is the number of Volkswagen Polo sold on the Rwanda market to private customers. The Polo is the smallest and cheapest, priced at US$20,000. Volkswagen Rwanda has sold only 1 VW Polo to a private customer in nearly one year of operations in Rwanda. Volkswagen has done slight better with the Teramont, the much larger utility vehicle priced at US$45,000. Volkswagen has sold 22 Teramont vehicles. Thilo Thielke’s report appeared in the FAZ of April 20, 2019.

We wish Volkswagen Rwanda best of luck.