Volkswagen Group has announced the introduction of a new car brand ‘Virtus’ on the Rwanda market by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The Volkswagen Virtus is a subcompact sedan (B-segment) with initial production dated 2018. It is in the family of Polo Mk6 with a petrol engine, six-speed manual, and automatic transmission as well as an extended wheelbase.
Serge Kamuhinda, CEO of Volkswagen Rwanda, said Virtus comes with better technology and is ideal for an African market to serve different needs of mobility.
“We had the same number of cars of Polos that we started with but recovering from Covid-19, we saw an increased demand especially, in the business-to-business segment which was a bit more stable than the business-to-client. So we had to make a hard decision of deflecting more supply to businesses to be able to survive financially,” he explained.
Kamuhinda added that this issue, as well as the application failures, will be sorted by end of March 2023 when the company secures at least 200 units of Virtus.
“We usually own them for two years only and then sell them as used cars. This comes at almost 50 percent reduction of the original price,” he added about the fate of Polo cars.
Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, Martina Beine, to Rwanda, urged on the importance of that expansion as he affirmed that this new type of car will, among other things, help tackle the issue some passengers have been facing in ride-hailing due to a limited number of cars against increased demand.
From dialogues held with different ministries including the Ministry of Agriculture, she said that they have agreed on launching newly manufactured tractors to boost farming productivity at scale.
Volkswagen Rwanda assembles between 200 and 250 car units annually, and Kamuhinda stated that the country office has already started recording profit since its operations in 2019.
Recently, the T-Cross new model was unveiled, being the third SUV edition introduced on the Rwandan market after Teramount and Tiguan.