Economy

New car sales surge 31.5pc in 9 months

ISUZU0612F

Workers at the Isuzu East Africa Vehicle Assembly plant on Mombasa Road during December 2018 media tour. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

victorjuma_img

Summary

  • New motor vehicle sales rose 31.5 percent to 10,044 units in the nine months ended September, with commercial vehicle dealers benefiting the most from the increased demand.
  • The formal dealers including Isuzu East Africa, Toyota Kenya and Simba Corporation had sold 7,637 units a year earlier, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).
  • The figures include the small volume of exports to markets such as Uganda and Tanzania and which represent about one percent of the overall sales.

New motor vehicle sales rose 31.5 percent to 10,044 units in the nine months ended September, with commercial vehicle dealers benefiting the most from the increased demand.

The formal dealers including Isuzu East Africa, Toyota Kenya and Simba Corporation had sold 7,637 units a year earlier, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).

The figures include the small volume of exports to markets such as Uganda and Tanzania and which represent about one percent of the overall sales.

Improved economic performance riding on the ease of Covid-19 restrictions has lifted demand for new vehicles, especially among businesses in various sectors such as trade, transport and construction.

Isuzu chief executive Rita Kavashe recently said sales are strong due to back orders, adding that the industry is benefiting from the recovering economy.

Banks, seen an economic bellwether, have been posting record earnings in recent quarters. Increased vaccination of most of the population is seen as a means of ensuring the economic revival is maintained going forward.

Isuzu posted the highest sales growth of 33.8 percent to 4,104 units from 3,067 units, giving the dealer a 40.8 percent market share. Isuzu exclusively sells its namesake commercial vehicles comprising pick-ups, buses, trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Toyota was second, with its unit sales rising 32.8 percent to 2,386 from 1,796, earning it a 23.7 percent market share.

The dealer sells its namesake and Hino passenger cars, pick-ups and trucks.

Simba Corp’s unit sales increased 16.5 percent to 1,248 from 1,071, giving it a 12.4 percent market share.

The dealer sells Mitsubishi trucks, Mahindra pick-ups, Renault and Proton passenger cars.

The formal dealers continue to gain as the economy recovers from the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic though a global shortage of semiconductors presents new risks of supply disruption and higher vehicle prices.

Global automakers including Toyota and Volkswagen are cutting their production in the wake of inadequate supply of semiconductors — a key component of vehicles’ electronic parts.