Inside Politics

April’s car sales shoot up by 48pc

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Motor vehicle showroom. Photo/Courtesy

Steve Umidha @UmidhaSteve

A 48 per cent surge in sales of new motor vehicles in April registered a rebound from March when a mix of economic struggles and the coronavirus shocks affected the sector.

Data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) shows that formal dealers, including Toyota Kenya, Isuzu East Africa and DT Dobie moved 3,942 units in the first four months to April, compared to 2,661 units sold between January and March 2021.

First quarter

The data reveals that there was a sharp decline in vehicle sales in the first quarter of the year due to the third wave of the Covid-19 knocks which led to restrictions which saw Kenyans spend less on new vehicle purchases. 

The pandemic also led to a reduced demand for such orders in the first 90 days of the year.

“There has been a resounding improvement in the last month or so since schools reopened as well as the lifting of travel restrictions and extension of curfew hours.

If the current mood sustains, maybe we could have an improved year,” said Simba Corp Managing director Dinesh Kotecha in a previous interview with Business Hub.

Several government ministries and agencies that had previously placed tendered for vehicle leases as well as local purchases in line with the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Build Kenya, Buy Kenya’ directive, are expected to temporary halt purchase plans with most of the funds have since been channeled towards fighting the virus.

Build Kenya Buy Kenya

This move is projected to deny car dealers the much needed revenue stream from the State.

Through the ‘Build Kenya, Buy Kenya’ initiative, the government targets to reduce the level of motor parts importation in order to make it possible for local companies to buy from local manufacturers of vehicle parts as well as invent reduced tariffs for local car assemblers, lower high costs of additional taxes, charges, levies as well as logistical charges to grow the industry and make it competitive.

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