Black entrepreneurs have long had success in the car industry as dealers and suppliers, but few have made it far enough to become an actual car manufacturer. But Kwadwo Safo Jr, CEO of Kantanka Group, is defying the odds! Based in Accra, Ghana, his car company is already producing more than 100 vehicles each month.
Dealing with a lack of trust
Safo says that he spends a lot of time trying to convince others that his brand of cars are high quality. He told CNN, “The biggest challenge is people believing (and) having faith in the car. People think the doors will come off or the tires will blow off or something.” To prove that he’s building high quality vehicles that are durable enough for the streets of Ghana, he recently allowed a local Ghanaian police department to test out the vehicles.
Safo continued, “They rough handle cars a lot. They took the Kantanka car, and made it appeal to the masses. These cars are made for Ghana. We know how the roads are, and we built them to stand the roads.”
Another major problem
As a small operator seeking to compete with established rivals, their manufacturing base in Accra can only produce about 100 cars monthly. Most competing car manufacturers can produce 100,000 or more a month. Even worse, Kantanka has high overhead and the cheapest of their three models costs around $20,000 – which is very expensive in a third world country.
Not giving up
But Safo is not very easily discouraged. “We’ve gotten this far because we believe in the possibilities,” he says. “One day we will be all over the world.”
Safo’s father, Kwadwo Safo, Sr, who is founder of the company and also a preacher and a musical enthusiast, says their mission is to empower black Africa through the application of appropriate technology and innovative science and to uplift the sunken image of the African continent.
For more details about the company, visit www.kantanka.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Kantanka-Group-of-Companies-1571036256461289/