Bus assembly deal unfolds

By Owen Mandovha

THE first batch of locally assembled buses will be rolled out by Deven Engineering next month in a joint venture comprising local bus operators, a Chinese firm and local assemblers.

Chairperson of the Amalgamated Bus Investments, Mr Kuda Sibanda revealed that bus kits are on their way to kick-start the process.

“Zhongtong is availing kits that have started to arrive in the country from China. We engaged Deven Engineering as the third local assembler and they will assemble the first batch of buses starting next month and all systems are now firmly in place to kick-start this game changing deal we launched last year,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said Deven Engineering’s current capacity will see at least 200 buses being assembled this year alone.

“Deven Engineering has a capacity to produce 6 buses per day and we have a plan to assemble 200 buses this year. The buses will be absorbed by local bus operators and Government departments,” he added.

Apart from harnessing the downstream industries in the local assembly value chain, the deal will go a long way in saving foreign currency from potential imports of assembled buses, further complementing the import substitution policy.