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Toyota Kenya production drops as assemblers output flat in nine months

Toyota Kenya
Toyota Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan assemblers of motor vehicles saw their production units drop marginally to 5,203 in the nine months ended September compared to 5,231 the year before.

Toyota Kenya was the major assembler to register a major decline, dragging down the industry’s overall performance according to data from the Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association (KMI).

Isuzu East Africa, which deals in trucks, pick-ups and buses, saw its output rise to 2,974 from 2,538.

Assembly of Mitsubishi trucks, by Simba Corporation, meanwhile jumped to 1,251 from 1,139.

Toyota’s assembly of pick-ups and utility vehicles dropped by the largest margin, more than halving to 477 from 1,055.

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Production of Hino buses and trucks, also Toyota Kenya, declined to 148 from 159.

Isuzu, Simba and Toyota dominate the local vehicle assembly business, accounting for about 93 percent of the volumes produced.

The smaller players include DT Dobie (which assembles the Volkswagen Polo Vivo car) and Tata Motors Kenya (producing Tata trucks trucks and buses).

Recent policy changes are expected to boost local vehicle assembly in the coming years.

The government recently banned the imports of used trucks with load capacities of 3.5 tonnes and above.

All tractor heads or prime movers, which are older than five years from July 2019, three years from July 2021 and zero age from July 2023 from the date of first registration shall also not be imported.

The ban comes after the government dropped proposals to also restrict imports of used passenger cars after protests from second-hand dealers.

“We estimate that imports of used trucks in the targeted category stand at 10,000 units per year. The ban will significantly boost local assembly,” Rita Kavashe, Isuzu Chief Executive and KMI chairperson told the Business Daily in an earlier interview.

At 10,000 units, the estimated imports of used trucks are equal to 70 percent of all new motor vehicle sales per annum.

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