Commenting in Uitenhage on the reasons for the brand's engagement in Africa, Schäfer said: "Africa is still one of the blank spots on the Volkswagen map. There is, however, enormous potential in the region to meet the mobility needs of a burgeoning middle class. We will drive forward the development of these new markets in cooperation with various African governments – and gradually strengthen and expand the new Sub-Saharan Africa region."
The Volkswagen brand currently has three operations in the region: the company has been building cars in South Africa since 1951. Vehicle assembly began in Nigeria in 2015, with assembly in Kenya getting underway in December 2016. In addition, Volkswagen plans to launch an integrated mobility concept in Rwanda at the end of this year. The concept provides for app-based mobility solutions such as car sharing and ride hailing. For this purpose, an environmentally compatible local vehicle production facility is to be established in the capital city Kigali to cover vehicle demand for the integrated mobility concept.