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Used cars, certified aftermarket parts seen as opportunities in Ghana

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 09:00
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If you want to do business in Ghana, the West African nation’s drivers would welcome pre-inspected quality used vehicles, preferably with a high ground clearance, plus quality aftermarket repair parts – with both elements proffered at bargain price points.

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Low-cost technician training courses are another need to augment the skills of omnipresent “roadside mechanics” who keep the current car parc running under rough road conditions and a tough economy.

A successful parts-sales import initiative would improve its chances of success by including a certification process guaranteeing legitimacy, as counterfeit components are a continuing problem.

“From what I know and experience, most drivers purchase aftermarket parts more than OEM parts due to affordability and difficulty in determining genuine parts from fake parts. Up to 60 percent of drivers will go in for aftermarket parts rather than genuine parts,” says Samuel Kwesi Sackey, vice president of ECL, which provides testing services for Ghana’s vehicle inspection program. (See the related Q&A with Sackey here).

Using the country’s common term for used vehicles, Sackey explains to Aftermarket Business World that “the majority of vehicles on Ghana roads are ‘grey cars’ compared to new cars. As a result, it does increase the demand for spare parts. Most used vehicles that are imported into Ghana are already broken down before they arrive and need to be fixed before use.”

In addition to the quality issues presented by used cars, at times the accompanying documentation can be dicey, generating concerns that the paper trial for important recall notices may be incomplete.

“As technology changes rapidly, customers who are not recorded in the manufacturer’s database will not avail themselves of the opportunity to gain from the latest technologies in the auto industry with regards to repairs and maintenance. In case of any manufacturing defect, their vehicles may not be recalled for prompt and proper maintenance,” reports Fauster Abasa-Addo, an “auto sales and engineering expert” who analyzed the nation’s automotive segment for the GhanaWeb news service. In addition, “There are instances where radiators are found to be too small, thereby increasing the incidence of overheating, especially in the afternoons.”

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