Mobius Motors: A Different Kind Of Low-Cost Car

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
mobius motors a different kind of low cost car

Africa is quickly becoming the focus for auto makers looking to discover the last island of growth in an overly saturated global marketplace. Toyota, PSA and Renault-Nissan are hoping to make inroads on the continent beyond their current strongholds in trucks (Toyota) and North Africa (PSA/Renault) respectively. But a new start-up is proposing a very different kind of car for Africa, one far removed from the current crop of compact offerings.

With a price of $10,000 USD, the Mobius retails for the same price as a used Toyota Corolla does in Kenya, but has a very different mission. The tube frame SUV packs a 1.6L 4-cylinder making 86 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque, while lacking comforts like windows or air-conditioning. Top speed is a mere 75 mph, but with 9 inches of ground clearance and a payload capacity of 1,375 lbs, the Mobius is designed to carry people and goods across rough African roads, and nothing else.

With $50 million in funding, Mobius should be able to bring their first 50 trucks – and there could be more money on the way. Mobius is backed by the Pan-African Investment Company, which is partially controlled by billionaire cosmetics magnate Ronald Lauder. While $50 million is barely a drop in the bucket for most automotive companies, there’s clearly much more available, provided that the Mobius succeeds.

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  • NancyLong NancyLong on May 22, 2014

    Mobius Motors is mostly known for African low cost car maker. They aim at providing low cost transportation in Africa and are quite successful in doing so.

  • CapVandal CapVandal on May 23, 2014

    I think this sort of vehicle has more potential ... And on the outside chance that they succeed, their design can be copied by Korean or Chinese companies. As far as Africa in general -- and to the extent that anyone can generalize about a continent -- Americans don't get a representative view of their state of development. I was behind the curve and never saw pre development China. I wouldn't be at all surprised if parts of it develop quickly.

  • Raven65 This was basically my first car - although mine was a '76. My Dad bought it new to use as a commuter for his whopping 15-minute drive to work (gas is too expensive!) - but it was given to my sister when she left for college a couple of years later - and then she passed it down to me when I got my license in 1981. It was a base model... and I mean BASE... as in NO options. Manual 4-speed (no o/d) transmission, rubber floor (no carpet), no A/C, and no RADIO (though I remedied that within a week of taking ownership). Dad paid just over three grand for it. Mine was a slightly darker shade of yellow than this one (VW called it "Rallye Yellow") with the same black vinyl "leatherette" seat covers. Let me tell you, the combination of no A/C and that black vinyl interior was BRUTAL in the SC summers! Instrumentation was sparse to say the least, but who needs a tach when you have those cool little orange dots on the speedo to indicate redline in gears (one dot for redline in 1st gear, two dots for redline in 2nd gear, three for 3rd). LOL! It wasn't much, but it was MINE... and I LOVED it! It served me well through the remainder of high school and all the way through college and into my first "real job" where I started making actual money and finally traded it in on a brand new '89 Nissan 240SX. They gave me $300 for it!!!. I wish I still had it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
  • Analoggrotto Telluride is still better
  • Arthur Dailey So how much more unreliable is a 50 year old Italian made vehicle in comparison to a 5 year old Italian made vehicle? After 50 years wouldn't most of the parts and areas most prone to failure have been fixed, replaced and/or addressed?Asking for a friend? ;-)
  • Pig_Iron This is happy news for everyone in the industry. 🙂
  • Dukeisduke Globally-speaking, in August, BYD was the fourth best-selling brand name. They pushed Ford (which had been fourth) to sixth, behind Hyundai.