•The expansion of auxiliary industries has seen the number of locally assembled cars increase by 35.95 per cent in the first seven months to July, indicating the continued geared move by vehicle assembly plants to set up in the country.
•The increased investments have been fueled by the government's move to promote local auxiliary industries and create employment opportunities for the youth.
Toyota Kenya will now assemble its Toyota Hilux model locally, signifying an increase in the number of automobile firms now option for local production.
The move comes a time when Kenya is working on a National Automotive Policy which is expected to discourage importation of used cars and shift demand to new cars made in Kenya.
The Hilux pickup assembly line at the Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) in Mombasa is expected to be officially commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta tomorrow
The Sh1 billion investment will be the third Toyota model to be assembled locally, adding to the Toyota Landcruiser popular with the National Police Service and tour operators, and the Hino 300 and 500 series trucks and buses.
Early this month French automaker Renault Trucks opened its local assembly plant in Thika, to facilitate the production of its K-Range heavy-duty trucks.
This is after the firm spent Sh58 million to upgrade the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers plant. The firm also announced plans to expand its presence in the Kenyan market to Kisumu and Nakuru.
It targets to assemble 150 trucks for the local market by the end of 2022.
The expansion of auxiliary industries has seen the number of locally assembled cars increase by 35.95 per cent in the first seven months to July, indicating the continued move by vehicle assembly plants to set up in the country.
Data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has shows the number of assembled vehicles increased to 4,406 between January and July this year, compared to 3,241 in the same period in 2018.
The number of vehicles assembled in the country in the month of July was 689 compared to 587 in the same month in 2018 . April recorded the highest number at 741 in 2019.
In 2018, 5,653 vehicles were produced compared to 4,884 in 2017.
The growth has also been fueled by the government's move to promote local assembly industries and create employment opportunities for the youth.
A directive issued on July 1 demands that all ministries, departments, agencies and other public entities give exclusive preference in procurement of motor vehicles and motorcycles to firms that have assembly plants in Kenya.
But even so, the number of imported vehicles between April to June was 28,953 units at the cost of Sh23.93 billion, according to KNBS data.
This compared to 22,730 units in the same period in 2018 costing Sh22.39 billion, representing a 27.4 per cent jump over the year with second-hand cars forming the bulk of the imports.