Kenya: Transport demand in Nairobi leads MetroTrans to acquire buses worth US$3.3 million

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  • Kenya’s Metrotrans East Africa has invested $3.3 million to acquire a fleet of buses to meet Nairobi’s growing population
  • The automobile firm said it has entered a deal with the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and Simba Corporation to acquire the buses 
  • Simba Corporation will provide the buses to MetroTrans East Africa, while NBK, an arm of KCB Group, will offer the financial muscle

A Kenyan automobile company has invested $3.3 million to acquire a fleet of new FUSO buses to meet door-to-door transport demand in the Kenyan market.

The Exchange Africa has learnt that Metrotrans East Africa has entered into a lease partnership deal with the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and Simba Corporation amid a continued population increase that has crippled the transport sector. Data by the company indicates that Nairobi currently has about 3 million residents and a daytime population of 4.5 million people who need to commute through the city.

Under the deal, Simba Corporation will provide the buses to MetroTrans East Africa, while NBK, an arm of KCB Group, will offer the financial muscle.

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While receiving the first batch of 25 FUSO Canter buses by Simba Corporation, MetroTrans Chief Executive Officer Oscar Rosanna noted that the move would allow them to ease the increasing demand for buses on their existing routes.

It would also help them serve their customers better by offering cashless payments. The digital offering will be supported and enabled by the technology company SWVL which allows users to make and track bookings through the SWVL app.

The CEO added that they would also add another 55 buses by the end of the year that will be used to gain footing in older routes, and they seek to join new routes.

“This is an opportunity to widen our reach and offer better transportation solutions to our clients. These buses will help us add value to our clients,” he added.

Simba Corp’s Product Manager for Pick-Ups & Buses, Mehul Sachdev, said FUSO had accumulated over 50 years of experience in the commercial vehicles market, leading to the brand offering the best vehicle for all buses and trucks segments – light, medium or heavy-duty.

“We are proud to be part of this partnership with our FUSO Canter buses. On the road, the Canter bus drives high and proud. The increased ride height provides the benefit of great forward and peripheral vision. This bus excels in rough terrain as it manoeuvres easily through inclines and valleys synonymous with Kenyan terrain,” Sachdev noted.

Commenting on the same, Naresh Leekh, MD Simba Corp Motors, said Fuso is geared toward providing comfort.

“Simba Corp has invested in fully-fledged after-sales centres across the country and is on hand to provide genuine parts for all Fuso trucks and buses. In addition, we have continuous driver training sessions to engage drivers on the buses capabilities for maximum efficiency,” he added.

NBK Retail Banking Director Carol Rutto noted that availing of the buses to MetroTrans Limited lends credence to the desire by the bank to support key economic enablers, especially in the transport industry.

A fleet of brand new Fuso buses which were handed over to public transport company, Metro Trans Ltd from Simba Corp. [Photo/MetroTrans]
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In a related story, NCBA Bank Kenya PLC recently signed an asset finance deal with Simba Corp to see the lender finance up to 95% of all commercial and personal vehicles sold by Simba Corp.

The deal would see new and repeat customers get discounted loan facility fees. The Small and Medium Enterprise sector, the largest employer in Kenya, would be the biggest beneficiary of this special financing deal, which will run for six months.

The partnership would also offer customers a 13% interest rate per annum on reducing the balance over a maximum tenor of 60 months. In addition, customers will receive a grace period of 60 days after the vehicle release date before loan repayment.

At the time, Lennox Mugambi, NBK Group Director, Asset Finance and Business Solutions, said the asset finance deal would help businesses recover from the hardships caused by the pandemic.

“The businesses that take up this deal will also benefit from the discounted all-inclusive insurance package offered by NCBA Insurance Agency (NCBA IA).”

“The insurance package provides swift and seamless settlement of loan repayment for grounded vehicles under repair and a back to dealer agreement for all accidental/partial theft cases, including spare tyres. It also includes goods in transit coverage, unlimited third party liability claims with a nil excess and accommodates personal accident claims,” he added.

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Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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