In 1912, prior to the First World War, the grandfather of the current Managing Director of Japan Motors Ghana, Salem Kalmoni, arrived in Ghana from Lebanon to start some trading activities. His company, Kalmoni & Sons, soon branched into truck-boards, and in 1958 he imported the first Japanese car; a Datsun, a brand name which was later changed into the world-famous Nissan.
Kalmoni & Sons was renamed Japan Motors in 1965. Today it has five branches across Ghana and employs over 330 people.
The heirs to the Kalmoni fortune Jalal Kalmoni, Salem Kalmoni, and cousin, Nouhad Kalmoni work in the car industry, leading Japan Motors and Silver Star Auto. The other Kalmoni brother, Salah Kweku Kalmoni, is in charge of the family’s real estate companies, which include Advance Constructions, Lakeside Estates and Silver Star Tower.
The Kalmoni’s obtained their fortune from their automobile company, Japan Motors which has seven companies in its stable; Silver Star Auto Limited, Modern Automobile Services (MAS, formerly Enyidado Industries Limited), Oman Fofor Trading Company Limited, Advance Construction & Development Limited, Lakeside Estate/Agri-Cattle Limited, Silver Star Tower Limited and Star Property Management Limited.
Japan Motors is the sole dealer of NISSAN in Ghana, with a market share of 26% of new vehicle sales in Ghana, also, they are the sole distributor of YAMAHA Motor which controls 80% of the motorbike market in Ghana.
The Kalmoni’s Modern Automobile Services deals in a wide range of vehicles from Korea and China and is a main distributor of TATA vehicles with an on-road presence of 7,000 vehicles in Ghana and West Africa. Modern Auto Services also hold the franchise for SsangYong, Lifan and Foton heavy duty vehicles in Ghana.
Oman Fofor Trading Company Ltd is also the sole authorized distributor of Canon Products. It is the largest retailer of photocopy machines in Ghana.
Advance Construction is a construction company which operates a block factory and is located at Lakeside Estate.
The Land where Lakeside Estate is sited on was acquired in 1974 for raising livestock and growing crops. The drought between 1982 and 1984, coupled with the fact that other private estate developers and potential house owners began to show covetous interest in the land, made it apparent that Agri-Cattle land could no longer be used for cattle. Therefore in, Agri-Cattle, which was originally acquired for agricultural purpose was, with the consent and concurrence of the lesser, planned for estate development. And precisely for that reason, it became apparent that the original name, ‘AgriCattle’, which evoked a rather rustic, farmhouse image, was not a suitable label for the homes that would be built. Lakeside Real Estate Company has built over 700 houses between 2001 to 2011 for the middle and upper class in Ghana.
The Stimulus for Productivity, Silver Star Tower was the first multipurpose office complex with 2 banking halls to be completed and commissioned in the Airport City enclosure. Silver Star Tower is the manager of the Silver Star Tower building in Accra. Star Property Management; a division of Silver Star Tower also owns properties in exclusive neighborhoods in Accra. These include the Exams Tower Residence in North Ridge and the Duplex Villas at the Airport West Residential Area in Accra.
Silver Star Auto Limited was established and opened in 1997 and holds the distributorship and franchise for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It is the largest dealer in the sale and service of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Ghana, as well as the sale of spare parts in its capacity as General Distributor of Mercedes-Benz.
In 1976, the Yama Motor Company Limited – Yamaha was established for sales and after sales service of Yamaha Outboard and Marine Engines.
In 1990 Oman Fofor Trading Company Limited was established for Canon office equipment and Acer computers. It has acquired the agencies for Microsoft, American Power Conversion (APC) and Symantec.
NISSAN was the N0. 1 vehicle brand in Ghana in 2012 with a market share of 26% of new vehicle sales according to the Ghana Automobile Distributers Association. They have consistently been in the top three position, over the last thirty years.
Apart from pick-up trucks, Sports Utility vehicles (SUVs), commercial vehicles, buses, saloon cars, they also distribute YAMAHA motorcycles, engines, water pumps and generators.
Japan Motors has award-winning workshop facilities, and genuine parts and accessories in all their branches
They have full service branches including workshops and showrooms at strategic locations in Accra, Tema, Tamale, Kumasi and Takoradi.