Higher sales drive Isuzu market share up to 45pc


48 Isuzu Dmax Double Cabin pickups to be issued to Deputy County Commissioners at the automobile manufacturer along Mombasa Road on May 16, 2022, before their flag off. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Isuzu East Africa raised its market share to a new record of 44.7 percent in the year ended December 2022 after growing sales amid an overall slump in the new vehicle industry.

Data from the Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association (KMI) shows that Isuzu sold 5,968 units in the review period, representing a five percent increase from 5,609 units the year before when the company’s market share stood at 39.4 percent.

Total unit sales in the formal vehicle sector meanwhile shrunk 6.3 percent to 13,352 from 14,250.

Isuzu benefited from increased demand for its commercial vehicles including its top-selling truck –FRR 90N. Sales of this model rose to 1,684 from 1,443, entrenching its position as the single most popular new vehicle in the market.

In an earlier interview, Isuzu said small and medium enterprises are the biggest buyers of its trucks.

The company’s buses are meanwhile sold mainly to public service transport operators, with some volumes going to schools.

The company, like its rivals CFAO Motors (Toyota Kenya) and Simba Corp, also benefits from government leasing contracts.

Simba Corp and CFAO Motors were among the dealers that recorded lower sales in the review period.

Sales of the Toyota dealer –including Hino trucks— fell 17.7 percent to 3,084 from 3,748. This resulted in its market share declining to 23.1 percent from 26.3 percent.

The company had earlier last year projected that its sales would shrink owing to supply hiccups occasioned by chip shortage.

“It is coming down because currently, we have a few challenges all over such as getting the chips,” Arvinder Reel, the CFAO Motors managing director, told Business Daily in March last year.

“At this point in time, we cannot meet our demand. We have more demand than supply and we hope that we can catch up with production in the next few months.”

The shortage of semiconductors –used in electronic devices— has hurt the production of global automakers. Semiconductors are used to control electrical current, making them essential in battery management and in-car entertainment, among other systems.

They are found in devices such as sensors and microcomputers.

Simba Corp’s sales dropped to 1,379 from 1,596, representing a decline of 13.5 percent and reduced its market share to 10.3 percent from 11.2 percent.

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