Ghanaian artisans at Suame Magazine launch first car

The wait for artisans of Suame magazine to manufacture a car is now over, as the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) has officially launched its first car.

The ” SMATI Turtle 1″ car was made and assembled at the Suame Magazine ITTU by local artisans.

Artisans comprising auto mechanics, electricians and welders amongst others, at the Suame Magazine; one of the biggest industrial hubs in West Africa, have over the years been criticized for their inability to manufacture a functional car despite their enormous skills and expertise.

But after several attempts, the artisans have finally assembled a new version of what looks like a Kia truck or pick up.

Like the Kia truck or pick-up which is a carrier of heavy goods, the SMATI Turtle 1 has been built to perform heavy duty tasks.

The “Turtle 1” car was built in a three-month period with funding from Aardschap Foundation of The Netherland.

“Being a turtle, it may not be the fastest car in the world, but it can grow very old. Above all, it is robust, strong and functional,” said the President of Suame Magazine Industrial Organization, Sarpong Boateng.

Mr. Boateng said the artisans and mechanics can even do better if the government offers them the needed support and stop paying lip service to industrialization.

The car was made in 2013 but was taken to Holland by the funding partners, for promotion and testing.

Melles Smets, leader of Aardschap Foundation said the Turtle 1 car received massive attention when it was sent to Holland.

“Tourists from several European countries came just to see a car made in Ghana,” he said.

He hinted the Foundation’s preparedness to assist more local artisans to make a second attempt at manufacturing other cars.

The car is made to carry heavy loads. The design is ideal to bring farm products from the farm to market centers.

The front fenders are specially designed to carry additional load.

The Turtle 1 is a strong and mechanically simple design, capable of driving on rough roads mostly found in Ghana and the African sub-region.

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