36-Yr Old Techie Who is the Brains Behind Kenyan Made Car Mobius

  • A Mobius vehicle during its launch in Nairobi.
    A Mobius vehicle during its launch in Nairobi.
    File
  • Mobius Motors has been accoladed among the car companies which locally began in Kenya. Known for its stripped-down nature, the car offers a sleek design at an affordable rate.  

    However, not much is known about the British entrepreneur who delved to create the SUV brand in African soil-particularly Kenya. 

    Joel Jackson is the critically acclaimed techie recognized for the groundbreaking feat. The 36-year-old computer engineer founded Mobius Motors in 2009.

    The businessman alluded to the brainchild, noting that it sprung up while he was working in Rural Kenya- known for its tough terrains.

    British entrepreneur and Mobius founder Joel Jackson at a past event.
    British entrepreneur and Mobius founder Joel Jackson at a past event.
    File

    According to Jackson, he realised that people didn't have vehicles that were up to the task of driving through the tough state of roads.

    "Millions of people are having their productivity undermined because of the time it takes to move around and get from place to place, and that problem could be solved with a better type of product," he detailed in a past interview with CNN.

    Jackson resorted to bootstrap the company. He began the company from a shed in Kilifi County with his savings.

    He soon shifted to Mombasa and ultimately settled in Nairobi whereby he was able to set up research, production, and development facilities.

    Jackson pointed out that his desire to delve into the African market was due to the market niche owing to the lack of affordable cars to be used on rough roads.

    "Car companies are still focused on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Africa is an overlooked market in general, and there is an opportunity to do something different.

    "Vehicles on the local market aren't designed for local consumers. They're made in Japan or the US but roads here are horrendously bad. People often carry heavy loads in vehicles so they need to be durable. They're underserved," Jackson stated in a past interview with Forbes.

    The techie noted that he intended the car to retail the car at Ksh600,000 but due to the increasing cost of procuring steel spare parts which led to the price of Ksh1 million to Ksh1.5 million.

    Further, he received a boost when in 2014, American billionaire Ronald Lauder poured millions worth of equity into Jackson's business. Reports indicated that the funds were used to assemble multiple units and establish a distribution network within the country.

    The first generation Mobius featured more detailed engineering capability with a 1598 cc petrol engine with a capacity of 86 horsepower at 5500 revolutions per minute (rpm)

    The second-generation Mobius, however, featured a more sleek design and introduced new features such as glass windows, power steering, and an infotainment system. The features include a 4 cylinder inline petro engine with a capacity of 1798 cc, producing 133 horsepower at 5600 rpm. 

    The first generation Mobius.
    The first generation Mobius.
    CNN
    Inside the new model of the second Generation Mobius
    Inside the new model of the second Generation Mobius
    CNN