•It has lost the Ford franchise to Salvador Caetano while Suzuki will be supported by CFAO motors (formerly Toyota Kenya), from the second quarter of 2023.
•Mazda is expected to announce the new distributor in the coming months.
Motor industry player CMC Group has announced a shift from mass-market passenger vehicle segment, after losing dealerships on Ford, Suzuki and Mazda franchises in Kenya.
The company now says it will invest and refocus growth efforts towards the agriculture mechanisation as well as the two-wheeler sectors.
Salvador Caetano will handle Ford from the third quarter of 2023 while Suzuki will be supported by CFAO motors (formerly Toyota Kenya), from the second quarter of 2023.
Mazda is expected to announce the new distributor in the coming months.
“CMC has formalised a detailed succession plan to ensure a seamless and smooth transition for their current passenger vehicle customers, with after-sales commitments that will extend for the next few months,” management said in a statement.
According to CMC Motors Group managing director Sakib Eltaff, the company has in recent years, been confronted with rapid changes in market dynamics owing to the pandemic, production slowdowns and supply-chain disruptions, which have impacted the passenger vehicle market hence the shift.
“We thoroughly studied the situation and took the decisive step to shift focus. It wasn’t an easy choice for us, as we have been very proud to represent global automotive brands. We will certainly ensure our customers continue to experience high standards of service during the transition,” Eltaff said.
For over 75 years, CMC Motors Group Limited has been a widely successful and established name in the automotive and agricultural sector, with presence in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
This is the latest franchise loss for CMS after it also lost the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volkswagen franchises to Inchcape Kenya (the successor of RMA Kenya) and DT Dobie respectively.
The change in strategy, however, management says follows closely on the government’s agenda to transform and rapidly grow Kenya’s agricultural sector, which contributes approximately 33 per cent of the country’s GDP.
CMC has already made in-roads in the agricultural sectors of Tanzania and Uganda with good tractor sales in 2022 within both countries.
The company is setting up an assembly facility in collaboration with CNH Industrial and the Ministry of Agriculture in Uganda.
CMC aims to further strengthen its agriculture sector interests in the region with plans to expand reach and continue selling its portfolio of New Holland tractors, alongside an extensive range of farming implements from New Holland, Nardi and Fieldking, management notes.
It also intends to further solidify its position in the two-wheeler sector as the company is exploring the possibility to set up a two-wheeler assembly facility in Nairobi.
“Two- wheelers are an essential tool of trade in East Africa and a strong localisation plan will enable the company to deliver on its promise of being a customer-centric organisation,” Eltaff said.