The re-opening of Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries has raised hopes for increased recovery of Zimbabwe’s automobile sector.

However experts contend that pricing models, competitiveness of the motor industry and local consumer response to buying locally manufactured vehicles will facilitate the growth of the sector.

Zimbabwe’s motor industry has a potential of saving the nation millions of dollars in potential revenue from imported cars, creating employment opportunities and general macro economic growth.

With the re-opening of Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries on Monday (yesterday), there is hope for a rebound in growth of the automobile sector, however delays in ensuring the finalisation of a Competitiveness Bill is a key cause for concern, according to Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce  chief executive officer Mr Chris Mugaga.

Given the fact that the country has been experiencing a huge appetite of imported cars, the response of Zimbabweans to buying locally manufactured or assembled cars is also under spotlight, says the managing director of Fluid and Power Technologies Mr Shephered Kembo.

An economic commentator Mr Tapera Chikandiwa says pricing models and quality of local cars against imports are factors that if solved, can increase viability of the motor industry.

Government’s support for local industries by gazetting import restrictions on some imported goods is being considered critical to facilitate revival of strategic industry and it remains to be seen whether the local motor industry will also benefit from the policies.