•Governor Hassan Joho said this is his contribution towards promoting local manufacturers.
•Uhuru said his administration is committed to reviving the local assembly of vehicles.
The Mombasa county government has made preliminary steps in the order of 40 units of the locally assembled Proton Saga vehicle by Simba Corporation Group following its Thursday launch.
Governor Hassan Joho said this is his contribution towards promoting local manufacturers.
“Being in the Proton Saga, driven by the President I am impressed by the car and commit as the Mombasa county to place an order for 30 or 40 units for the county to use,” he said.
President Uhuru officially launched the vehicle, which will retail at about Sh1.1 million, inclusive of VAT.
On Thursday, Uhuru said the launch has seen the end of 25-year wait for a locally assembled vehicle after the program stalled.
He said his administration is committed to reviving the local assembly of vehicles.
“I am happy that we are reviving the local assembly of saloon cars after stalling for 25 years. We celebrate this,” said Uhuru.
The assembly was done at the Associated Vehicles Assemblers plant at Miritini in Jomvu constituency, Mombasa.
Simba Corporation chairman Adil Popat said the Proton Saga has enhanced safety features, superb stability and braking performance, supreme style and eye-catching exteriors and interiors.
“The Proton Saga also comes with a five-year warranty, attractive financing options with some of our major bank partners in Kenya, and an extensive aftersales network. We know that our customers will have a great experience with the Proton Saga,” said Popat.
Uhuru said greed and lack of focus have led to the country being flooded by imported cars, which in turn hampers the assembling of vehicles locally.
This, he said, denies thousands of Kenyans job opportunities.
“The government is faced with the challenge of creating employment opportunities due to the flooding of second-hand vehicles in the market, which has led to shutting down of factories,” he added.
The AVA has created jobs for over 500 people, who work at the assembly plant.
“I urge Kenyans to continue supporting locally assembled and manufactured items to safeguard employment opportunities,” Uhuru said.
Proton, a Malaysian brand, joins the growing list of globally renowned automotive brands that have chosen Kenya as their home and are being assembled by AVA in Mombasa.
According to Popat, the vehicle was first produced in 1985 and has been in the market for 35 years now, with 1.4 million units having been sold around the world.
Joho said Mombasa youth should stop relying on employment at the Port of Mombasa and roll up their sleeves to do any other job in other sectors of the country’s economy.
He said his administration is committed to supporting local investors with the aim of diversifying the county’s economy.
He insisted that the route the county government has taken is to enable county residents to earn their livelihood.
“Take the county’s commitment that we will support local investors to build the county’s economy,” he assured.
Popat said the company’s commitment to locally assembled vehicles is due to hard economic times in the country.
“The company is a testimony that Kenyans can also be able to make it locally,” he pointed out.
Uhuru reiterated that Kenyans should buy local products to promote each other and the economy.