Motor dealer DT Dobie has re-launched the Renault brand with two new models after a two-year absence of the French car maker’s brands in the market. In a renewed bid to boost its vehicle sales market share, the dealer said it’s focusing on Kenya’s upper middle class and mid-tier executives – segments emerging as key drivers of demand for new cars.
Established dealers are currently facing intense competition from imported second-hand vehicles from Japan and the Emirates, as well as from Chinese manufacturers who have ventured into the country.
Imports for second-hand vehicles into the Kenyan market now account for more than 70 per cent of the market, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), signalling a decline in the number of new vehicles sold in the country.
DT Dobie’s launch of the Renault brands is however a show of rising confidence among new vehicle dealers hoping to recapture the market. “We strongly feel there is a very important new market that is emerging in Kenya, mainly backed up by the growing upper middle class,” said Zarak Khan, DT Dobie’s managing director.
The dealer had ceased supplying Renault brands two years ago but now says the new models – the Fluence executive saloon and Koleos SUV launched yesterday – will do well in the Kenya market. “People are now going for new cars with latest technology, trendy and affordable,” said Khan.
“We need to cater for Kenya’s young and upcoming, and our challenge is to appeal with the best in technology and affordable pricing. Now we have the appropriate models.”
The price tag for the Renault Fluence is Sh2.85 million while Koleos SUV is priced at Sh4.9 million – inclusive of VAT. “Buyers are now realising that new vehicles are better because they are covered by warranty and it’s easier to get financing for new cars,” said Khan.
Kenya’s motor industry is primarily focused on retail and distribution of new and second hand vehicles, with established dealers being Toyota EA, DT Dobie, CMC, General Motors and Simba Colt.
The firms are however facing stiff competition from Chinese dealers who have ventured into the market and have already struck deals to supply some government agencies with vehicles.
Article originally published on The Star