South Africans are a hot hatch crazy bunch of motorists.

As if the hatchback category isn't big enough, there’s a new player in town – the Mureza Auto Company Prim8.

The first model, the Prim8 (pronounced Primate), is a crossover/hatchback which will be assembled initially from SKD kits in the Automotive Supplier Park in Rosslyn.

The new business is being backed by funders in the United Arab Emirates.

Mureza Auto Company Prim8
Mureza Auto Company Prim8.

The prototype Prim8 will be displayed on stand 6K4G in Hall 6 at Nasrec Expo Centre.

The Prim8 expected to use a 1.5-litre petrol mill making 87kW and drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or CVT transmission.

The Mureza Auto Company R180 000 and R200 000.

“The comprehensive specification of the top model includes keyless entry, 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, satnav, reversing camera, cruise control, parking sensors, audio system, air conditioning, power-adjustable driver's seat, four airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes and tyre pressure monitoring,” the company said in a statement.

Tatenda Mungofa, one of a group of Africans from various countries who are driving this ambitious project says that there is a void between the new vehicles and used vehicles currently sold in African countries.

Mureza Auto Company Prim8.
Mureza Auto Company Prim8.

Mungofa says this is the gap his team proposes to fill with new models priced not much above the cost of a used import, which are heavily taxed in certain markets.

"We will also engage with the people selling used imports to retail our new models and will assist them in setting up service facilities where this is viable, or else we will appoint independent servicing outlets in the various SADEC countries that we are targeting as a first step for our new company," explained Mungofa.

"Here in South Africa we are also looking to sell our various Mureza models through used vehicle outlets instead of setting up new car franchised dealerships. Online selling will be important for us too," he added.

The company has an ambitious product plan which starts with adding a half-ton pick-up, a sedan and high-riding mini-SUV off the Prim8's X100 platform.

There is even a battery-electric platform for the X200 platform under development in South Africa by Energy Doctors.