General Motors has recalled 13 million vehicles this year
General Motors has recalled 13 million vehicles this year

The number of vehicles assembled in Kenya has nearly doubled in five years as demand for new units rises and more manufacturers set up shop in the East African nation.

General Motors has recalled 13 million vehicles this year
General Motors has recalled 13 million vehicles this year

New data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) received on Monday shows that more than 9,000 vehicles are now assembled in the country annually, up from an average of 5,000 in 2009.
The number of assembled vehicles peaked in 2014, hitting 9,246 units, which was an increase of 2,298 from the previous year and 4, 186 units in 2009.
It is the first time in the industry’s history that the number of vehicles assembled annually have surged with a bigger margin.
According to KNBS, 2012 witnessed the smallest margin in growth of assembled vehicles, with the number rising by 169 from that in 2011.
There are three main assembling plants in Kenya namely Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers, Associated Vehicle Assemblers and the General Motors East Africa, which is the largest plant.
Chinese firm Foton recently set up an assembling plant in Nairobi in bid to entrench itself in the Kenyan market. Other motor vehicle makers from the Asian nation who have shown interest in the Kenyan market are Chery and Great Wall, from China and Hino, from Japan.
Analysts observe that besides new manufacturers coming in and increased demand, more vehicles are being assembled as the makers seek to cut the tax bill.
“The Kenyan system works in such a way that you are taxed less when you import vehicle parts for assembling than when you bring in an already made unit. Assemblers are exempted from 25 percent import tax levied on new vehicles. This is among things encouraging manufacturers,” noted economics lecturer Henry Wandera on Monday.
Wandera added that demand for new assembled vehicles, particularly minibuses, has increased in Kenya over the years due to policy changes in the transport sector.
Kenya two years ago moved to phase out 14-seater minibuses from its roads as it sought to reduce chronic traffic jams particularly in urban areas.
The move saw investors buy high-capacity minibuses assembled locally, particularly by the General Motors East Africa.
“Such policies are what the country needs if we are to build the local vehicle manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, this policy has not been fully implemented with the government seemingly backtracking on its own word. If the government had stood its word, assembled vehicles can hit even 15,000 units annually creating more jobs,” Wandera said.
He noted that the government is among the biggest buyers of newly assembled vehicles in the country.
“We cannot build the economy by overly relying on imported vehicles. We need to do more to build the motor industry, which is now dominated by imported vehicles from Asia,” said Wandera, as he lauded the Mobius, a fully Kenyan made car that was released into the market last year.
Fortunes in the Kenyan motor industry took a worst turn in the 1990s after the liberalization of the market, which paved way for importation of cheap second-hand imports. Enditem

Source: Xinhua



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