Kenya: A Toyota vehicle assembly plant is soon to be set up in Thika

The Kenyan government and car manufacturer Toyota have reached an agreement to set up a vehicle assembly line. The Japanese group has undertaken to make an initial investment of 800 million shillings in the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Limited plant, based in Thika. The agreement is part of a national policy to promote the local automotive industry in order to limit vehicle imports.

«The objective is to ensure that locally manufactured vehicles are affordable and thus discourage the purchase of second-hand cars. We need to have a balance between the number of imported vehicles and newly manufactured vehicles», said William Ruto, President of Kenya.

Japan is Kenya’s main supplier of second-hand vehicles, with almost 80% of the national fleet made up of Japanese models.

Around 7,000 to 10,000 units are brought into the country from Japan every month.

Other car manufacturers from the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Thailand and South Africa also supply the country with second-hand cars.

It should also be pointed out that the vehicle manufacturing ecosystem in Kenya is made up of several assembly units owned by large multinationals and a few local manufacturers who have developed Kenyan brands that are sold locally or exported.

Several types of car are produced including commercial vehicles, vans, minibuses and high-capacity buses.

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