Ethiopia Unveils First Locally Made Sedan

The four-cylinder Abay with five-speed manual transmission will cost $16,000.

With parts imported from China and two years after it rolled out a plant, Ethiopia has unveiled its first locally assembled sedan automobile. The car named Abay -- Amharic for the Blue Nile -- was launched Oct. 18 by the joint Ethiopia-Dutch firm Holland Car Plc.

"We are bringing new technology to the country, offering customers the ability to buy new cars instead of older and more expensive ones from Europe," Tadesse Tessema, co-founder of the company said.

The four-cylinder Abay with five-speed manual transmission will cost $16,000. It also offers an anti-lock braking system and is available in five different colors. The firm imports parts from China.

Ethiopia is among Africa's huge car importers and charges up to 150% import tax, according to the transport ministry.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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