Importation of second-hand vehicle models that can be assembled locally is set to come to an end in a drastic policy shift.
The move is intended to boost Kenyan manufacturers but will hurt importers.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has in an updated draft National Automotive Policy proposed a ban on import of vehicles and spare parts where Original Equipment Manufacturers already have a local presence.
The policy shift is intended to create jobs in local car assembly plants that are currently operating at only 16 percent capacity, producing an estimated 5,000 vehicles per annum against installed capacity of 34,000 cars.
The proposal could, however, prove controversial for Kenya’s middle class, who in most cases buy the relatively cheaper second-hand imports as their first car.
Official data shows that Kenya imports an average of 7,600 vehicles per month, which translates into nearly 100,000 cars per annum.
The draft automotive policy, which is in the process of being developed into law, has previously also proposed an age limitation for imported second-hand cars from eight to five years in what is expected to trigger a steep increase in prices and taxes payable on the units.