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VW unveils new hub in Kenya

16 April 2013, 11:42 Omondi Oloo

Nairobi - German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen has unveiled plans to assemble its cars locally after it penned a deal with a leading commercial vehicles assembler.

Motor vehicle enthusiasts in East Africa will save millions of shillings in foreign currency after RT (East Africa) Ltd, operationalised its assembly plant in Nairobi’s Industrial Area to begin assembling Volkswagen vehicles.

The firm, which completed its state-of-the-art plant last year, acquired the franchise to assemble Volkswagen (VW) and MAN trucks and buses, and has so far completed 50 units.

The company’s chief executive officer, Yunis Darr, says they are able to customise VW trucks to suit Kenyan roads and terrain.

“VWs are not only durable and effective, they are also made with simple technology, which makes them easy to maintain unlike other overly computerised models in the market,” he said in Nairobi.

The MAN trucks are available in two models — TGS, which targets the high-end truck market, and CLA, which is for the lower end of the market, explained Darr.

“Our expectations are high with these new entrants. They have already driven our revenues up and re-positioned our company in the heavy commercial vehicle industry,” said Darr.

The firm has over seven years of experience in the East African market, having set up shop in Nairobi in March 2005 as sole distributors of renowned Randon trailers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

 “We now assemble everything in-house — from quality trailers to trucks to buses.

 “Mombasa Road is a transit route and having a fully equipped service centre, complete with spare parts, will take our after-sales support to the next level,” Darr said.

Kenya business expressed hope that the new assembling plant with boost Volkswagen fortunes in the region, saying buyers would henceforth save on costs incurred while importing vehicles.

“This is the kind of opportunity many have been waiting for. We believe it is a move in the right direction since it will considerably save costs incurred when importing vehicles from Germany and elsewhere,” said Mr Lumumba Agwati of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

- CAJ News



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