A local company, Bike and Boat Bar Private Limited has ventured into motorcycle manufacturing business in a bid to offer alternative and cheap mode of transport.
In other countries especially, in West Africa, motorcycles have become a fast and cheap form of short routes in towns. In an interview, Bike and Boat Bar manager Mrs Robyn Smith said the company was proud to be the first ever to manufacture motorcycles in the country.
“Mr Bruce Hampson the director and founder of Bike and Boat Bar and Samic motorcycles has always wanted to produce the first locally manufactured motorcycle in our home town, Bulawayo and this we have accomplished. This took us 15 years to produce, but we can now say we are the first in Zimbabwe to produce bonafide, genuine, affordable and durable motorcycles,” said Mrs Smith.
“We came together with other companies to create the specific locally manufactured components for these Samic motorcycles (Southern Africa Matabeleland Industrial Company), an authentic industrial ingenuity project where we have assembled motorcycles, from completely knocked down (CKD) to semi-knocked down (SKD) for sale on the local market. These companies include United Spring, CT Bolts, King George VI, Bike Bar coaters, Leofree Tech, Rubber Products and Dunlop tyres,” she said.
Mrs Smith said the motorcycle project was also to create employment opportunities in the country.
“Locally manufacturing these motorcycles will create up to 250 000 jobs and more throughout Zimbabwe,” she said.
“We have obtained a stamp of origin for Comesa and Sadc, we are the first in Africa to hold such a licence. By exporting our locally manufactured product through our Comesa and Sadc licences we can generate foreign revenue for Zimbabwe. We wish to compete and dominate the Comesa and Sadc region and we are even looking beyond the continent,” she said.
Like any other company in the country, Bike and Boat Bar has been facing foreign currency shortages.
“The challenges that Bike and Boat Bar, and the companies that are supporting the Samic project are facing is the foreign revenue, to import the raw materials from other Sadc regions. We also wish for the Government to support our locally manufactured product, by means of orders or foreign currency financing and we are also open to temporary investments,” she said.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi commended the company for their venture.
“I was excited after learning that a Bulawayo company, Samic, has ventured into motorcycle manufacturing. No other African country makes bikes, they assemble. Such an entity needs our support. Why import when we can buy locally?” he said.
Bike and Boat Bar Pvt Ltd was established in December 1993 with their core business being servicing and repairing all types of motorcycles, maintaining fleets of motorcycles, refurbishment of antique bikes, engine overhauls, boat motor repairs and powder coating. Sunday News.