Toyota to build assembly plant in Kenya

Updated: July 4, 2011

The Toyota Corporation plans to invest three billion shillings in an expanded vehicle local assembly to be based in Nairobi this year.

Toyota Kenya Chairman Dennis Awori says the Toyota Corporation will buy 50% shares in a local motor vehicle assembly company then upgrade and expand it.

“Toyota proposes to build the regional vehicle and parts centre in Nairobi and also invest in the expansion of Associated Vehicle Assemblers to assemble Hino trucks and buses,” Awori said.

He says the plant will also serve as a regional vehicle, equipment and Parts Distribution Centre.

Awori says the company will expand the models assembled locally to include left hand Drive Vehicles for sale in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

“Based on the investment and business activities, Toyota expects to have a turnover of more than US$ 100 million worth business in Kenya per year,” he added.

Awori announced that Toyota has a comprehensive investment plan for Eastern Africa covering several sectors including energy, agriculture, regional vehicle and parts distribution with the expanded vehicle assembly.

He was speaking in a meeting hosted by Industrialization PS Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho at the Ministry last week.

Dr. Kibicho told the Toyota Corporation to explore the possibility of manufacturing cheaper vehicles for the local and regional markets.

“By assembling affordable vehicles locally Toyota will help bring harmony to the models of motor vehicles in the local market and hence effectively support the products during service,” he said.

Dr. Kibicho said vehicles designed and engineered for local operating conditions, with proper after sales support, significantly reduce downstream costs of ownership, making locally assembled vehicles the cheaper option in the long run.

The PS told the company that the Ministry had notified the relevant authorities of the left hand vehicles to be assembled here for sale in other countries saying it is considered that such business will not contravene KS 1515: 2000 which prohibits the import of such vehicles into the country.

Currently, Kenya imports more than 150,000 used saloon cars annually.


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