Expanding Kenya Auto manufacturing industry

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Simba Corp has launched sales of the locally assembled Proton Saga saloon car.

The Proton Saga is locally assembled at the Associated Vehicle Assemblers plant in Mombasa. It comes with a 5 year, 150,000KM warranty. Simba Corp has partnered with bank partners to make it easier for their customers to own this zero-mileage, high-value car.

The Proton Saga also comes with a 4 star NCAP safety rating and will have over 50 service locations nationwide.

“We don’t import because we love used cars, we do it due to the demand. We are looking for affordable vehicles that are fuel-efficient and new, with zero (0) mileage, and the Proton Saga has come to address this.” Said the Kenya Auto Bazaar Association (K.A.B.A) Chairman, Major (Rtd) John Kipchumba.

This is expected to significantly reduce the imports of second hand vehicles.

Vehicle imports into Kenya increased to Sh161,455.69 million ($560,465) in December from Sh139,042.14 million ($1,268,052) in November of 2020.

Proton joins the growing list of globally renowned automotive brands that have chosen Kenya as their home and are being assembled by AVA in Mombasa.

During the Mombasa launch held in December 2020, His Excellency the President Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President Kenyatta said the country is now at the cusp of offering Kenyans the opportunity to own zero-mileage vehicles that are affordable, well-engineered and can attract financing.

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“It offers good value for money, compared to what has previously been available to Kenyan consumers. Kenyans can purchase a brand new, safe vehicle for the same price that is usually spent to purchase a secondhand vehicle and in addition it stimulates economic growth by creating jobs for Kenya’s youth.” He said.

In his address, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Lawrence Karanja, said that the decision was advised by the increasing demand for affordable vehicles.

“When Kenyans demanded an affordable vehicle, we thought it was a tall order. Simba Corp took the challenge and delivered. We celebrate this growth and development in the manufacturing sector in Kenya in a bid to achieve Vision 2030. The government’s mission is to make Kenya a regional hub for automotive assembly and manufacture. As a government we are supporting the industry by being committed to buying locally assembled vehicles because we believe in Buy Kenya and Build Kenya as this creates employment, skills development and transfer for our youth, research and development as well as promoting environmental protection.” Said Mr Karanja.

In his closing address, Simba Corporation Motor Division Managing Director, Naresh Leekha, said, “We have the utmost confidence that Proton will transform the automotive market and the lives of our consumers. The 5-year warranty, attractive financing options, safety features, aftersales network, all, for a brand new zero-mileage car that is assembled locally is an unbeatable deal. The future is indeed bright.”

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Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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