Tunisian motor company WallysCar was set up by two brothers who had no prior experience in mechanical engineering.
Omar and Zeid Guiga founded the business in 2006 and thirteen years later, the company is producing 350 handmade cars a year.
The price point of the cars averages EUR15,000, which gives the company a competitive advantage according to Zeid, as does their unique look and feel.
"Our cars are made by hand and this is not possible anymore in industrialized countries, except for very expensive cars,” he says.
Sales of WallysCar are split between Europe and Tunisia, and building an initial consumer base was something of a challenge for the founders.
"Our challenge was to convince Tunisians, and also to convince European people, to trust a Tunisian brand,” says Omar.
Car production is not a mainstay industry in the Middle East and North Africa, with China and Europe currently dominating the market.
Last year, out of the 98 million automobiles produced worldwide, only three percent were made in the MENA region.
THE ROAD TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The demand for electric vehicles was 63% higher in 2018 than in 2017.
The survival of WallysCar, as a young Tunisian manufacturer, depends upon the company staying current with global trends.
“I believe that the car industry, and the car manufacturers, are definitely going towards electric - more and more. WallysCar doesn’t want to be left behind, so we are now developing a new car.” says Omar of the hybrid vehicle in the planning.
Whilst some industry insiders say that electric cars are one of the most important technological advancements to have impacted the sector in decades, the creators of WallysCar don’t see it being fully embraced in the Middle East and North Africa.
One reason for this is the longevity of an electric car’s battery, which rarely exceeds 200 kilometres from fully charged, meaning that it’s perhaps not ideal for long desert highway journeys.
With that in mind, the Guiga brothers have confidence that their new car, which will combine both a petrol and an electric engine, will have broad appeal to their core markets and long-distance commuters.
SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: SPEEDING UP
Hela from Tunisia tested a WallysCar saying it’s very practical to drive around the city.