US firm to put up bicycle tyre plant
AN American company plans to put up a tubeless bicycle tyre factory in Kitale which will save African bicycle users billions spent on puncture repairs. Baiskeli Ugunduzi CEO, John Gerhenson said the newly innovated tubeless tyre will be durable and can last for up to five years. "Our research revealed that a single bicycle operator spends an estimated Sh15,000 to repair flat tyres annually, which translates to over Sh40 billion per annum for Africa’s bicycle users," Gerhenson said.
Africa, the CEO said, has the best market for bicycles yet it receives substandard bicycle parts from manufacturing companies overseas. ‘Bicycles exported to Africa are not designed for the African market where bicycles are used to generate income unlike in other parts of the world,” Gershenson added. He said the company intends to add value to other bicycle parts to reduce expenses incurred in replacing the easily won out parts.
He said most companies do not carry out research. As a result, they manufacture substandard bicycles which do not attract consumers in their countries and end up being dumped in African countries, he added. ‘Kenyan citizens prefer to buy locally manufactured commodities which unfortunately are not available. This country has great potential and that is why we have come up with this idea”. Most people in western Kenya prefer bicycles and motorbikes as their mode of transport. This trend has spilled to other parts as well.