NAIROBI (HAN) August 11.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By George Obulutsa. The number of vehicles assembled in Kenya fell by nearly a third between January and April compared with a year earlier, as high interest rates and a slowdown in government projects pushed down demand, data showed.
Kenya assembled 2,258 vehicles, down 31 percent compared with January to April 2015, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said.
That was in line with a July report from the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Association (KVMA) showing vehicle sales fell 30 percent in the first half.
Kenya mostly assembles trucks, pick-ups and buses from kits supplied by foreign manufacturers.
“The economics are challenging,” KVMA Chairwoman Rita Kavashe said on Thursday, citing high interest rates and a slowdown in government spending which has meant few projects for contractors in sectors like road construction.
Buyers of new vehicles generally rely on bank financing, and rates were as high as 24 percent during the period.
Kavashe, who is also managing director of General Motors East Africa, said a real estate lull had also contributed.
Other brands assembled in Kenya include Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Isuzu. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Edmund Blair and John Stonestreet)