New luxury car sales drop 60pc in Q1

Sunday May 19 2019

DT Dobie showroom

DT Dobie showroom on Lusaka Road. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

VICTOR JUMA
By VICTOR JUMA
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Sales of new luxury cars dropped 60 per cent in the first quarter ended March on the back of stockouts of BMW, Porsche, Bentley and Jeep brands.

Unit sales of the dealers including DT Dobie and Inchcape Kenya stood at 26 in the review period compared to 65 a year earlier, according to statistics from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).

Sales performance in the high-end car segment was much worse than in the overall new vehicle market that recorded a 14.5 per cent drop in orders to 2,741 units in the same period.

The industry-wide slump was attributed to difficulty in accessing loans and slow registration by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

There were no Jeep, Bentley, Porsche or BMW sales in the review period, resulting in one of the worst quarters for luxury car dealers.

Supply and sales of BMW cars was disrupted after Simba Corporation lost the franchise to rival Inchcape last year. DT Dobie has in recent years gone slow in marketing its Jeep cars.

Global demand

Porsche and Bentleys have also been out of stock, partly due to global demand and supply dynamics.

Porsche Centre Nairobi says it now has adequate stocks of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne –its fastest-selling car. The new model is priced at $117,000 (Sh11.8 million) inclusive of taxes.

The stock-outs left DT Dobie and Inchcape to dominate the luxury car market in the first quarter. DT Dobie sold 13 Mercedes cars or half of the industry’s total volumes, down from 15 of the German car models it moved a year earlier.

The rest of the sales were by Inchcape which moved 11 Land Rover and two Jaguar models for a total of 13 units, down from 20 units the year before.

DT Dobie could get a major sales boost later this year after the Judiciary published plans to buy 121 Mercedes cars for judges and other staff.