The number of locally assembled vehicles has risen sharply to a record of 75.5 per cent of new automotive sales, a record high from the previous peak of 70.6 per cent witnessed in December 2021.
Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association (KMI) data shows that firms including Isuzu East Africa and Simba Corporation assembled 4,174 units out of the total of 5,526 new vehicles sold in the five months to May.
The bulk of the assembled units is commercial vehicles – pick-ups, buses and trucks – though dealers are adding more passenger car models to their assembly lines.
Local assemblers now produce 20 models including buses, pick-ups, trucks, and passenger cars such as Peugeot 3008 (SUV) and 508 (sedan)
Dealers have attributed their increased production to support from the government which has enacted favorable policies besides being one of the biggest buyers of new vehicles.
In the latest measures, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) said in a notice that used buses more than seven metres in length will not be imported into the country effective July 1 in a move by the government aimed at protecting and promoting local assemblers.
All used rigid trucks with Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) load capacities of 3.5 tonnes and above shall not be allowed for importation in the country.
Tractor heads and prime movers not older than three years will continue to be imported until June 2023 after which only new units will be allowed in.
The government is also set to exempt locally assembled passenger cars from VAT and excise taxes, a move that could see prices of the automobiles fall by hundreds of thousands of shillings.