German experts set their sights on the West African vehicle identification market
TÖNNJES opens up new strategic base in Dakar with AFRIPLAQUE
Delmenhorst/Dakar, February 2019. The Government of the Republic of Senegal is introducing a new system to register vehicle owners and identify vehicles in the West African state. This should improve the state’s control over vehicle tax and provide a sound footing for the insurance sector. TÖNNJES C.A.R.D. is participating in this restructuring process by investing over one million euros in the construction of a new production plant for vehicle licence plates in the capital, Dakar. The specialist manufacturer of security licence plates and RFID-based vehicle identification systems has formed a long-term collaboration with Gemalto, a French software company and systems integrator. The company will be operating in Senegal for the next ten years under the name AFRIPLAQUE, producing and supplying blank plates in the local area. The finished licence plates will be embossed and issued by twenty licensed printing shops. These local companies were previously responsible for this task and will remain part of the new structure. “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to implement a sustainable model to save jobs and even create new ones in the local area. We can also use our subsidiary in Senegal as a strategic launching pad to distribute our products in neighbouring states like Nigeria, Mali and Guinea”, explains Jochen Betz, the Managing Director of TÖNNJES C.A.R.D.
The reflective security licence plates meet the national requirements and contain a machine-readable code next to the flag. This makes the supply chain traceable and removes fakes from circulation. An estimated 1.5 - 2 million vehicles will be affected by this change. The licence plates will be joined by new vehicle registration books, registration documents and driving licences. The German company has identified great potential in West Africa, where several countries are undergoing dynamic development. “One of the main responsibilities expected of the authorities is the systematic identification of vehicles, especially in economically emerging states. Our analogue and digital solutions prevent congestion and counterfeiting, and they can even be used to establish low-emission zones”, highlights Betz. A quick look at the figures reveals the challenges ahead. The Economic Community of West African States alone is home to 349 million people. “In some cases, the authorities are still lacking the structure to properly organise the growing number of vehicles. This means West African states are missing out on millions in taxes”, assures Betz.
As well as producing licence plates used to optically recognise vehicles, TÖNNJES is the global market leader in the field of electronic vehicle identification. The company offers an RFID-based system, integrating machine-readable chips in licence plates and stickers. The IDePLATE system transmits encrypted data to the competent authorities. The company works alongside its partners at over 50 locations around the globe, employing around 2,000 people.