Multiply Justice

A car for emerging markets

Adam Ostrow reports for

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Mobius Motors CEO Joel Jackson estimates there are 320 million people in Africa cut off from transportation, a problem that impedes education, health and the economy. Jackson’s company is looking to address that with a car that costs only $6,000, can transport up to eight people and navigates the often difficult terrain of the continent.

To accomplish that, Jackson says we need to “rethink what a car can be in the emerging market context.” With a focus on features like suspension, handling and ground clearance, and a de-emphasis on the expensive frills found in typical American, Japanese or European cars, he hopes to bring affordable vehicles to Africa’s middle class.

In doing so, he hopes to expand what is currently just a $15 billion market across the continent (by comparison, the U.S. market alone is worth more than $500 billion annually), and in turn create new opportunities for Africa’s middle class of entrepreneurs.

Because the Mobius Two is designed to be able to haul heavy loads and transport up to 8 people, Jackson sees it becoming a platform for small businesses to emerge in areas like transport, deliveries and medicine. “It creates a platform for mobility,” a reference to both the car’s ability to physically move people but also advance their socioeconomic standing, Jackson said.

Read the full article here.

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