New luxury car sales up five per cent in Q1

The Porsche Macan Sport model during its launch in the Kenyan market in 2014 FILE PHOTO | NMG
Porsche cars. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Sales of new luxury cars rose nearly five per cent in the first quarter ended March, helped by increased demand for Porsche models.

Unit sales of the dealers including DT Dobie and RMA Kenya stood at 65 units in the review period compared to 62 the year before, according to statistics from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).

Sales of the high-end cars trailed those of the overall new vehicle market which jumped 13.6 per cent to 3,130 from 2,755 units over the same period.

Porsche Centre Nairobi more than quadrupled sales of its models including Porsche Cayenne to 22 from five.

“We had an aggressive marketing campaign and made good offers to our customers,” an official at the Porsche dealership told the Business Daily. Porsche was the only luxury car dealer to register higher sales in the period.

RMA, for instance, moved 20 units of its Jaguar and Land Rover models, down from 25. The dealer is set to exit the Kenyan market in the next few weeks and a successor will be picked by the franchise owner Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

RMA last month offered rare discounts on the JLR models amid the franchise succession talks, a move that could raise sales of the cars in the half year ending June. DT Dobie’s sales of Mercedes and Jeep models also fell to 18 from 22 while Bavaria Auto saw demand for its BMW cars decline to six from 10.

The luxury car dealers continue to launch new models, competing on pricing and brand reputation. Among new models introduced in the past year include the Jaguar E-Pace, Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover Velar.

Private companies and wealthy individuals are major buyers of new high-end cars, with the industry increasingly weaning itself off government orders after the State reduced purchases to tame its transport bill.

Relatively higher sales growth in the overall new vehicle market has been attributed to realisation of orders that were suspended last year amidst uncertainty brought by the General Election.