Saloon car sales at five-year low as station wagons demand soars


Sales of saloon cars fell to a five-year low of 10,504 units in 2018 compared to 2014’s 15,902 units indicating a shift from passenger-travel to passenger-cum-cargo vehicles.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in the 2019 Economic Survey reveals station wagons remain king on Kenyan roads with 64,179 units sold, a 62 percent of the total 102,136 new vehicle registrations made in 2018.

KNBS said last year 8,857 units or 16 percent more station wagons were sold compared to the previous 5,322 units added on Kenyan roads.

Station wagons, considered family cars have of late enjoyed popularity as passenger service vehicles with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) mulling a new law that will see Toyota Probox and Toyota Sienta granted PSV licences.

Speed governors

This could see all PSV station wagons fitted with speed governors as well as number of passengers limited based on vehicle model.

In an earlier interview, Transport Principal Secretary Esther Koimett hinted at a law review introducing regulation of the low-capacity vehicles operating matatu business mainly in rural areas.

The vehicles are barred from offering PSV services under the Traffic Act and have been cited for overloading, carrying as many as 10 passengers in five-seater car.

With threats of banning 14-seater matatus from major cities, more operators bought minibuses to record a 76.9 percent increase from 459 units in 2017 to 812 units in 2018.

In the meantime, 2017 and 2018 showed an ever rising interest in motor cycles with 186,434 and 188,994 units sold respectively.


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