Kantanka Automobiles is a Local Ghanaian car manufacturing company located in Gomoa Mpota. Central Region, Ghana. The Company was set up by Apostle Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, the Leader of the Kristo Asafo Mission.
Prior to that he was a master technician at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi in the 1970’s before he ventured into the Gospel ministry. As a music enthusiast, Apostle Safo started with constructing electrical drums with brain units, loud speakers, professional mixing consoles, amplifiers, pre-amps and seven-stringed bass guitars – the first of its kind in the world at that time.
He later moved into the manufacture of sewing and embroidery machines, corn mills, combine harvesters, solar panels, anti-gravity devices, multi-purpose mobile block moulding machines capable of producing 16 to 18 blocks at a time, human-sensor television sets and many more.
Apostle Sarfo manufactured his first automobile, the Kantanka Saloon, in 1998. In 2006, he succeeded in putting up a cross-country four-wheel drive, the Kantanka Onantefo I.
On December 30, 2007, Apostle Safo unveiled a 26-foot long Limo style cross-country vehicle, the Kantanka Obrempon, at the church’s 27th Annual Charity and Technology Fair at Awoshie in Accra. On the same day, he launched an excavator. He also brought to the public scene the Kantanka jet, an air-conditioned four-seater aircraft he had manufactured – All his products are made from local materials.
In 2012, he launched a sports utility vehicle, the Kantanka Nsoromma, which is powered by a shirt. In the same year, he introduced another 4X4 vehicle, the Kantanka Daasebre, which is powered and steer-controlled by a wristwatch.
In June 2007, he released an advanced model of the Onantefo, the Kantanka Onantefo II, which, like all his cars, was driven through most parts of the country for testing. That same year, he unveiled a solar-powered non-engine saloon car, the Kantanka Odeneho I.
In 2013, he unveiled the Kantanka Otumfuo, a four-wheel drive that is ignited with a walking stick; the Kantanka Odeneho II, an upgraded version of the Kantanka Odeneho I; the KTK 02, a defensive helicopter; the Kantanka passenger airliner and Kantanka Bazookas.
Apostle Dr Safo recounted that the success of his automobile company was attributable to hard work and the penchant to succeed. He said that it took the Company 12 good years to accomplish vehicle assembling. He went further to say that in spite of the many challenges that he encountered, in addition to the tendency on the part of some people to mock his vision, he continued to aim high and told himself that he could make it.
It is good to believe in God, but you do not pray and sit down expecting God to let manna fall from Heaven. You must take the step to do something and God will crown it with success,” he said.
While speaking to Citi Business News at the launch, Apostle Sarfo said:
We have been able to complete all the necessary requirements as demanded by agencies involving the DVLA, the police as well as the Road Safety Commission,” he said
The biggest challenge is people believing (and) having faith in the car,” says Kwadwo Safo Jr, CEO of Kantanka Group — the nation’s first manufacturers.
People think the doors will come off or the tires will blow off or something,” he added.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing plant at Gomoa Mpota in the Central Region was officially innaugurated last year on the 25th of November.
The ceremony was held to inaugurate the latest addition of equipment to the Kantanka Group of Companies. It was also held to mark the unveiling of five locally-assembled vehicles made to world class standards. These include the Kantanka Omama pickup, the Kantanka Onantefo, a 4×4 SUV, and the K71 saloon car.
Central Regional Minister and MP for Mfantseman West, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, at the occasion of the launching said the Ghana Revenue Authority should give the Automobile Company some tax rebates for some time so as to make the cars affordable and available to Ghanaians. This he said, will in turn boost the economy of the country.
Mr Quansah also called on the political leadership and other leaders in business to patronise the Kantanka vehicles in order to promote the brand and provide a worthy example for the rest of Ghanaians to emulate. He said the move by the company would provide an easy opportunity for Ghanaians who patronised its vehicles to be spared the ordeal of having to import vehicle parts often at high cost.
The first batch of 35 vehicles made by the Kantanka Automobile Manufacturing Company, are already in the market for sales. As earlier mentioned, two models of sports utility vehicles, the Kantanka Omama and the Kantanka Onantefo, were unveiled, together with the Kantanka K71 saloon car, in Accra. The price per vehicle according to reliable sources say it starts from GH¢78,000.
Below are the models of the Kantanka Vehicles available in the market with their prices and specifications:
In an address read on his behalf, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said over the years, Ghanaians had been asking when the Kantanka vehicles would be available in commercial quantities, saying that had now become a reality, to the pride of all Ghanaians.
The achievement by the Kantanka Automobile Manufacturing Company, he said, was a clear signal that Ghana was ready to play in the global space of the automobile industry. He said the success of the company was timely, coming on the heels of President Mahama’s launch of made-in-Ghana goods and services. He added that the government was committed to playing a leading role in ensuring that the automobile industry thrived.
To prove the Kantanka models are tough enough for local conditions, Safo gave them a baptism of fire serving the Ghanaian police.
They rough handle cars a lot,” he says. “They took the car, and made it appeal to the masses.”
These cars are made for Ghana. We know how the roads are, and we built them to stand the roads.”
Despite positive reviews, the company faces another challenge as a small operator seeking to compete with established rivals. The manufacturing base in Accra can produce just 100 cars month, and with high costs, the cheapest of three models costs around $20,000.
But given the rapid progress until now, such difficulties do not deter Safo from dreaming, and his dreams are not limited to the domestic market.
We’ve gotten this far because we believe in the possibilities,” he says. “One day we will be all over the world.”