Vehicle dealers plan open air sale day in Mombasa

Second-hand imported cars at a yard in Changamwe, Mombasa. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Car dealers in Mombasa plan to introduce an open-air sale day as a new strategy to attract more buyers after facing a hit from high prices in the last two years.

Car Importers Association of Kenya chairman Peter Otieno said the move is to ensure there is access to the market for buyers and sellers.

“We have that plan where someone can bring his or her vehicle willing to sell, and at the same time, car dealers will have the opportunity to display their new model for a small fee,” he said.

The dealers added that the open day will allow buyers of second-hand cars a one-stop shop and will not require them to move from one showroom to another in search of their favourite model. The cost of buying vehicles is also likely to reduce due to the reduction of hidden costs and brokers, as buyers would be able to conduct transactions in Kenya shillings, eliminating the complications associated with foreign currency deals.

Kenya imports more than 70 percent of its second-hand vehicles from Japan, while the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Thailand, Singapore, and South Africa share the 30 percent market.

Car prices have remained high in the last two years on the weak shilling to the US dollar and revised taxes, among them the East African Community (EAC) depreciation schedule, which has now capped the maximum depreciation rate at 65 percent, from a previous 70 percent, increasing taxes by at least 15 percent.

Dealers and importers of second-hand cars and knocked-down units shipped in by local assemblers (new cars) have also been hit by a 35 percent import duty. This was after the EAC approved an application by Kenya to raise duty on motor vehicles under the Common External Tariff from a previous 25 percent.

The auction is one of the many activities that have rented spaces in the Mombasa Showground which has been idle only to be used during one week a year in the Agricultural Show.

Mombasa ASK show chairman Henry Nyaga said they have opened the facility to the public to rent as a means of utilizing the area.

“We cannot have a facility in a serene environment in Nyali which is only used for a week every year during agricultural show activities. We have our show beginning 4th September to 8th this year but our facilities are free to anyone to use,” said Mr Nyaga.

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