In African cities like Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Lagos (Nigeria) and Libreville (Gabon), brand new Porsches, Range Rovers and other luxury cars are an indication of the emergence of a wealthy class in Africa. Wealthy Africans love big four-wheel drive vehicles. Not only are they better adapted to the poor local roads, they have also become a status symbol, The Citizen (Tanzania) reports.
In Gabon, 70 per cent of the 6,000 new vehicles sold each year are big 4x4s, mostly Japanese models, according to the Gabonese Federation of Car Importers. In Abidjan, importers offer sports cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) put the size of the African middle class at 300 million in 2011. Ventures financial magazine recently put the number of African billionaires at 55. In Lagos, Porsche boasts a brand new showroom in Victoria Island. Porsche has recently set up shop in Angola and Ghana as well as Nigeria. Local partners are being sought for dealerships in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi also intend to expand across Africa.
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