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Chinese automaker Foton launches vans for African market

13 July 2014, 10:45

Nairobi - Chinese automaker Beiqi Foton on Saturday launched its van for the Africa market.

Foton's general manager Wang Jinyu told journalist in Nairobi that Kenya is an emerging market for commercial vehicles on the continent.

"We hope to provide transport solutions for growing urban centers in Kenya and the entire Africa region," he said, adding that Chinese firms are impressed by the favorable investment climate in Kenya.

Foton East Africa General Manager Calvin Guo said his firm integrates leading global technologies to manufacture vehicles that meet world standards.

"We hope to use our rich experience on urban transport to help develop commute transport in Africa," he said.

Foton has invested over 30 million U.S. dollars in an assembly plant in Kenya and has four branches in Kenya and one in Uganda.

"We are also planning to establish a presence in Tanzania," he said. There are currently over 2,000 Foton vehicles on Kenyan roads.

Guo Jinlong, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, said Foton's investment in Kenya is a sign of the growing China-Africa ties.

He said that Kenya is well positioned geographically to become the regional automotive hub for Africa.

Speaker of Kenya's Senate Ekwee Ethuro said that the launch of Foton vehicles in Kenya will help cement the existing strong ties between the two nations.

"The investment is not only for the benefit of Kenya but for the entire continent," he said.

Ethuro noted that Kenya has a youthful and growing population and so demand for vehicles will expand.

Spector group CEO Tony Karimi said Chinese brands are increasingly being recognized by African consumers.

"The myth that Chinese brands are of low quality is fading away, " Karimi said.

Karimi, who has placed an order for 60 Foton vehicles, said that the brand is as reliable the ones in the market.

 - Xinhua

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