Kenya Sustains Lead in East Africa’s Vehicle Market
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News - News around Africa - February 16, 2023

Kenya Sustains Lead in East Africa’s Vehicle Market

Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association (KMI) is cementing its position as a leading car dealer in East Africa. This comes as data obtained from the association revealed that businesses led by Isuzu East Africa and Scania East Africa sold 387 units to foreign markets in the fiscal year which ended in December. 

The development was a significant increase from 193 units in the previous year. The increase can also be attributed to the efforts of the Kenyan government. Some of which include tax exemptions to promote the local automobile assembly sector.

The KMI report also showed that most of the 387 exports went to Tanzania and Uganda. The exports included commercial vehicles like pick-ups, lorries, and prime movers which were majorly produced locally. Out of the increase recorded, A Scania prime mover from the P360 series, moved from 40 units last year to rank as the top-selling export model.

Dealers react to Kenya’s increasing capacity

The Chief Executive Officer of Isuzu East Africa Rita Kavashe hinted that they have the capacity to scale up regionally in terms of production capability. He noted that their current capacity utilisation was about 40 per cent, with the production of 5,000 trucks. Rita also disclosed that the country’s vehicle plants can conveniently supply the entire East African market.

She said, “we have three plants in Kenya and they are operating at 40 per cent of their capacity. These three plants have the capacity to supply commercial trucks to the entire East African region.” 

Dealers also noted that the demand for vehicles in East Africa is on the increase, with a preference for second-hand imports. They added that higher age limits also posed a limitation for formal dealers.

Recall that Kenyan new car dealers increased their shipments to the regional market in 2022.

Role of KMI in Kenya’s vehicle market

KMI is the leading federation of companies in Kenya’s formal motor sector, embracing distributors of all the major vehicle marques, vehicle assemblers, component manufacturers, equipment agents, parts suppliers, etc. 

It mobilises and represents the sector on all commercial industrial and related national policy issues.

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