Volkswagen to double production in Kenya, explores second model

Volkswagen to double production in Kenya, explores second model
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 10: A brand new Volkswagen Golf 7 car is stored in a tower at the Volkswagen Autostadt complex near the Volkswagen factory on March 10, 2015 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is Germany's biggest car maker and is scheduled to announce financial results for 2014 later this week. Customers who buy a new Volkswagen in Germany have the option of coming to the Autostadt customer service center in person to pick up their new car. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to double its production in Kenya and introduce a new model at its plant in Thika.

Speaking in the South African town of East London, Volkswagen South Africa head Thomas Schaefer told President Uhuru Kenyatta at a meeting that the firm was exploring to produce a second model in Kenya, possibly a hatchback (small SUV), while doubling production of the VW Polo Vivo to at least 300 vehicles.

President Kenyatta welcomed VW’s commitment to growth of its Kenya facility, saying that the country had a ready market for cars produced in Kenya, provided that they were sold at affordable prices.

“We will walk this journey with you to produce affordable cars. Our plea is that you price these vehicles reasonably,”   said Kenyatta.

“We are very keen that our youth, a highly educated group, can get to work in a company of great technological sophistication as VW, which is why we welcome your plans to go full throttle to increase production,” he added

Schaefer is also responsible for VW’s operations in Africa. His vision is to see a successful operation in Kenya in the east, Nigeria in the west, and South Africa. Kenya’s interest is to grow a major auto manufacturing plant, with the capacity to meet the supply needs of East and Central Africa.

Last year, French carmaker Peugeot started manufacturing cars in Kenya, while Japanese vehicle manufacturing giant Toyota started assembling some models in Kenya in 2015.

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