As part of its BKBK (Buy Kenya Build Kenya) initiative, the government has been urging Kenyans to shun used Japanese car imports and instead buy locally assembled new cars in Kenya.
The state is actually implementing policy changes to see that it succeeds.
First, the government has been wooing manufacturers to commence local production by offering them myriad incentives.
The government is also reviewing new cars importation laws (as well as used) with prices expected to escalate exponentially from July 2019, when the regulations come into force.
Here is a brief analysis of the various locally assembled car packages and financing options:
1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo
The German-originated Volkswagen has hit the ground running at the Thika-based KVM (Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers) plant and is already recording substantial production numbers.
Leading the pack is the Volkswagen Polo Vivo hatch, a car praised for its versatility on Kenyan roads.
Car features: The car is engineered for Africa with a robust 1.4 litre, 16 valve super fuel-efficient engine. Also outstanding is the vehicle’s raised suspension plus the under guard protection.
Where to buy: The Polo Vivo is available on DT Dobie showrooms along Lusaka Road, Nairobi and in all the Company’s branches in Nakuru, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Price: About Sh1.65 million
Warranty: 120,000 kilometres or three years.
Financing: Stanbic bank, KCB asset financing, and Co-operative bank
2. Peugeot 3008 SUV
Made by Urysia Limited, Peugeots local dealer has been aggressively promoting the Peugeot 3008 SUV (Sport utility vehicle) unit since late 2018.
Named the car of the year in 2017 by a panel comprising of top 58 European motoring journalists, this SUV has been attracting rave reviews from Kenyans thanks to its style, sleek interiors, and thrilling performance.
The vehicle has also over the twenty other prestigious awards over the years.
Car features: The all-new Peugeot 3008 SUV has both sheer strength and character needed to conquer Kenyan roads. A lighter chassis, EAT6 automatic gearbox, and the World-famous PureTech petrol engine (BlueHDi) make it a premier ‘localized’ SUV.
You will also enjoy a 100% digital driving world thanks to the proprietary Peugeot i-Cockpit.
Where to buy: You can sample this elegant car at the busy Peugeot Center along Bunyala road in Nairobi.
Price: About Sh 4.0 million+
Warranty: Across the globe, Peugeot typically offers a 5-year warranty.
3. Peugeot 508 saloon
This was the pioneer model assembled locally after the re-entry of Peugeot in the Kenyan market in 2016.
The Sedan has one of the most assertive exterior styles in the Peugeot family plus an enhanced on-board technology which translates into a highly fulfilling driving experience.
Besides, the redesigned rear bumpers add a subtle feel while the signature lighting on the front end gives it a more expressive appearance.
Car features: Expected to be one of the fast selling cars, you get quad-zone air conditioning, six-speed automatic gearbox (in a BlueHDi engine) not to mention satellite navigation.
Where to buy: You can again book your test drive and experience this car at Peugeot Center, Bunyala road, Nairobi.
Price: Like its sibling the 3008 SUV, the car will set you back shs. 4 million.
Warranty: Internationally, Peugeot guarantees an extended 5-year warranty.
Financing: You can approach any bank or pick up one of Urysia’s financing options.
As I previously mentioned, the ministry of trade is burning the midnight oil crafting strategies to see more manufacturers including motorbike makers join the fray.
CMC motors has so far responded by adding several Suzuki models led by the Alto 800, popular among the taxi-hailing services like Fikisha.
It’s also believed that car assemblers are being encouraged to open more branches across the country with towns such as Nanyuki, Nyeri, Muranga, Embu, Meru, Eldoret, Mombasa, and even Karatina being mooted.
That being so, you could soon be buying a Toyota, for example, Toyota NZE, a Subaru like Impreza WRX, and even your dream Mazda Demio in your local town affordably.
Most buyers of new cars in Kenya need comprehensive insurance. You can secure fantastic Car insurance deals from online car insurance comparison sites like Pesa Bazaar or through your financier.
A few dealers including Urysia allow trade-ins if you meet the set conditions.
You can also consider selling your old ride through exhibitions such as the weekend Auto Bazaar Kenya held at Jamhuri show ground or through Car bazaars.
You can also post your car through Facebook forums.
Going by the government’s actions, it’s clear that locally assembled new cars in Kenya could be the future of the Kenyan motor vehicle industry.
Peugeot has two brilliant cars in the 508 Sedan and the Peugeot 3008 SUV. Volkswagen is also pushing its Volkswagen Polo Vivo hatch hard.
Fortunately, the market is teeming with options including cheaper financing alternatives. Also, the mooted entry of other players might push prices down so things might be rosier with time.
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