Toyota shifts up expansion gear on strong sales

Toyota Kenya is expanding its branch network on increasing demand launching its twelfth dealer shop for commercial arm Hino Kenya.

Friday March 4 2016

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | FILE A view of a Toyota Kenya showroom along Uhuru Highway, Nairobi.

A view of a Toyota Kenya showroom along Uhuru Highway, Nairobi.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By OTIATO GUGUYU
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Toyota Kenya is expanding its branch network with a twelfth dealership for its commercial arm Hino Kenya on the back of strong auto sales.

The firm has opened a Sh400 million dealership on Mombasa Road in Machakos County to serve the eastern region by providing a sales and service point for Hino trucks and buses.

The company is also betting that the intentions of the East Africa Community states to ban imports of used cars will be signed into law in a move that will accelerate demand for new cars.

“It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to have Machakos join this distinguished and worldwide fraternity by officially opening Emperor Motors now,” said Shuichi Kaneko, Hino Motors Japan general manager for Europe and Africa.

Hino customers can also access services at five Toyota Kenya workshops, 12 authorized service centres, 18 Total petrol stations and many approved fleet garages in all 47 Counties.

ALL-TIME HIGH

The new dealership comes at a time when the demand for new commercial vehicles is at an all-time high.

Light trucks and minibuses make up the bulk of new car sales in the Kenyan market, ranging from the Hino 300 light truck and 29-seater minibus and the Hino 500 heavy commercial truck and 52-seater bus.

Hino Kenya has in the last two years leased over 2,000 trucks and buses to construction companies, manufacturers, agro-firms and even the government of Kenya for the Kenya Police.

The motor industry has been booming but is now held back by high interest rates that have made financing difficult.

Last year, 20,500 vehicles were sold across the industry, according to General Motors.

A total of 157,856 motor vehicles were discharged in 2014 compared with 136,915 units cleared the previous year, an increase of 20,941, according to Kenya Ports Authority data.

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