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Demand for luxury vehicles pushes up new car sales in Kenya by 12.8 per cent

17th Feb, 2016

NAIROBI, KENYA: The demand for luxury cars improved significantly in 2015 contributing to an increase in the overall number of cars sold in the Kenyan market.

According to figures from the Kenya Motor Industry Association, KMI, a total of 19,524 new vehicles were sold last year up from 17,296 vehicles in 2014.

Luxury cars which include BMW, Porsche and Mercedes Benz faired on well during the year pointing to pent-up demand for the brands from middle-income and wealthy motor enthusiasts.

D. T. Dobie which holds the distributor rights to the lucrative Mercedes Benz franchise saw the sale of Mercedes Benz units jump by 75 per cent to stand at 598 units up from the 342 units sold last year. DT Dobie recently launched a new version of the Mercedes S Class which sells from Sh16 million and is popular among corporate executives.

Porsche which recently opened up offices in Kenya at Sameer Park along Nairobi-Mombasa road moved almost double the units sold by well-established BMW brand which has been in the local market for a long time.

Though a decline from 125 units it sold in Kenya in 2014, Porsche sold 102 units last year compared to 51 BMWs sold in same period. The BMW models, including the X3, X5, and X6 sell at between Sh8 million and Sh18 million, it sold 44 units in 2014, according to the KMI report.

“We sold the units to individuals and private companies,” an official at Porsche’s Nairobi office said. A company, owned by logistics firm Multiple Group, was appointed the local Porsche dealer late 2013 and started taking orders in the second quarter of 2015.

The entry of Porsche with a single showroom in Nairobi’s Sameer Business Park has for the first time given fans of the brand an official local dealer.

According to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association, KMI, General Motors maintained its lead over the rest moving a total of 6, 575 units led by its best-selling brand Isuzu which sold 6, 321 units.

Simba Colt motors managed to move 3,153 units of Mitsubishi vehicles across the various classes last year, up from 2,774 units sold in 2014.

New entrant Crown motors which wrestled the Nisan franchise from D. T. Dobie in 2014 saw its sales for Nisan jump by 475 per cent from 105 units in 2014 to 604 units sold last year.

Japanese car maker Toyota however took a beating with sales of Toyota vehicles and its new Hino brand of trucks and busses shrinking by 15 and 13 per cent to stand at 3442 and 594 respectively.

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