Toyota Kenya launches new SUV, backs plan to lower car import age
Toyota Kenya has voiced its support for plans to lower vehicle import age from the current eight years.
This after decades of domination by importation of second hand cars with dealers now developing products to drive up new car sales.
Toyota Kenya Managing Director Arvinder Reel said dealers and car assemblers support the proposed lowering of the import age limit to support the industries growth get newer cars on the roads.
“In the vehicle industry we have seen a situation whereby in the last two years we had a huge decline, we had a 30 percent decline in 2016 and another 23 percent in 2017 whereas the grey import is still increasing. Our rationale is how can we make this people purchase new vehicles and we believe this is targeting that market,” Mr Reel said.
In March, East African Community (EAC) member states proposed that the age limit of imported used cars be lowered to five years by 2021, a move informed by the urgency to spur the growth of motor assembly industries.
“We do support it, currently its seven years, we hope that the government and the CS (Peter Munya) will lower this so that we can see newer vehicles on our roads,” he said.
Toyota also says it is carrying out studies on local assembly to buckle the trend.
If successful, it will join Volkswagen currently assembling the Polo Vivo locally.
Other manufacturers such as Nissan and Volvo have also indicated plans to set up local assembly by next year.
Mr Reel spoke during the launch of the new model Toyota Rush valued at Ksh3m as it looks to disrupt the sports utility vehicle (SUV) market.
He said this comes as recent industry data shows a surge in sale of brand new cars in the market buoyed by enhanced consumer spending.
“Toyota Rush is an affordable full feature SUV that meets that aspiration at the fraction of the cost of importing a used SUV,” he said.
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