By Steve Umidha
New motor-vehicle sales stagnated at 2,661 units, registering a marginal 1.4 percent drop in the first three months of 2020 compared to a similar period last year when 2,700 units were sold.
The latest industry data by the Kenya Motor Industry (KMI) shows that Isuzu EA has sold more units since the year started with 1,048 motor vehicles, Toyota delivered 637 while Mitsubishi managed 316 units.
A sharp decline in the vehicle sales is highly expected in the months ahead due to the prolonged Covid-19 plague that continues to not only claim lives, but has also unsettled lives, slain industries with key sectors such as automobiles adversely affected.
Owing to the uncertainty brought by the Coronavirus pandemic, Kenyans are expected to spend less on new vehicle purchases whose impact will only mean a reduced demand for such orders.
“The uncertainty will unquestionably push down the demand for new vehicle orders and we can only predict a slow growth this year,” commented Simba Corp Managing director Dinesh Kotecha.
What’s more several government ministries and agencies that had previously placed tenders 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 such plans with most of the monies now channeled towards fighting Covid-19.
This in return 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.
The implementation of Motor Vehicle Policy (MVP) that was being prepared by Kenya vehicle manufacturers and auto vehicle companies is expected to be ready and will pave way for the ban on importation of second-hand vehicles and particularly those with 1,500cc engine capacity and older than three years.
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