The government will implement the national automotive policy over our dead bodies, used car dealers have said.
Fearing that the guidelines would destroy their livelihoods, players in the used car industry are in overdrive to have them rejected.
Kenya Auto Bazaar (Kaba) in its ‘Wakenya Hatuwezi Hii’ campaign says the proposed policy is a sugarcoated poisonous capsule that could make the country a captive of multinational car manufacturers.
Kaba chairman John Kipchumba (below) said if implemented, the policy would deny Kenyans the freedom to have cars of their choice.
“Kenyans will take expensive loans to buy vehicles. The policy will destroy competition by creating a protected market for multinationals through local assemblers and new motor vehicle franchise holders,” Mr Kipchumba told the Sunday Nation.
The association says implementation of the policy would render mechanics, taxi drivers, matatu operators, car dealers, clearing agents and millions of other Kenyans jobless.
It will sacrifice small and medium enterprises on the altar of greed, it added.
“There will be a 70 per cent drop in used vehicle imports while prices will double. We have been importing about 85,000 units every year but the figure will reduce to less than 20,000,” Mr Kipchumba said.
In a separate interview, Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK) chairman Peter Otieno warned of huge losses if the policy is implemented.
“About 2.5 million Kenyans gain from the used car industry directly and indirectly. Investments valued at billions of shillings will be at risk,” Mr Otieno said.
The industry, according to the association, generates Sh60 billion in revenue every year.
He added that the association has 83 members, most of them companies that deal in used vehicles.
“There are 400 showrooms in the country. With the implementation of the policy, many of these businesses will collapse,” Mr Otieno added.
CIAK argues in a petition submitted to the Kenya Bureau of Standards last week that the drafters of the policy had ill motives.