Uhuru unveils locally-manufactured Mahindra vehicles
President Uhuru Kenyatta has today unveiled the first locally assembled Mahindra Scorpio Single and Double cabin pick-ups that were manufactured by the Associated Vehicle Assembly (AVA Kenya) plant in Mombasa, a fully owned subsidiary of Simba Corporation Limited which it acquired from Marshalls East Africa after buying its 50 percent stake.
President Kenyatta in his speech at the State House Nairobi directed the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority to immediately institute actions to reduce taxes for vehicles that are fully assembled locally in order to boost the local manufacturing and assembly business in Kenya and make the vehicles affordable for Kenyans.
“To make locally assembled vehicles more affordable and available to Kenyans, I have also directed that the National Treasury and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives hold discussions with financial institutions to create special products for locally assembled vehicles,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta asked the motor vehicle assemblers, to engage with the National Treasury and the Ministry of Industry in order to come up with a framework that will ensure the benefits accruing from the tax incentives from the government are reflected on the other end of the companies’ consumers. Indian vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra chose Kenya as its expansion hub hoping to increase its market share in Africa.
“Kenya is very key in our Africa strategy and it is informed by a research study we concluded in 2018 to understand the market need and tailor products that offer far beyond expectations,” Mr. Mathew said at the Mahindra headquarters in Mumbai last week. “We have made extensive service networks and made sufficient spares available as part of the beginning where more brands are going to be available in the market,” said the Chief of International Operations Arvind Mathew.
The Head of State lauded the efforts by the Simba Corporation Limited reiterating on the need to create jobs and enhance technology transfer in Kenya.
“I shall continue to provide incentives to expand this sector. We appreciate your sustained investment in Kenya as it is a vote of confidence in our ever-improving business environment,” said Kenyatta. “This fact has encouraged my administration to continue to make every effort to revitalize the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy,” he added.
Mahindra Motors now joins a list of globally renowned automotive brands that have chosen Kenya as their home which includes Toyota, Peugeot, and Volkswagen among many other brands. Isuzu East Africa has also announced plans to start assembling its D-Max pick-up trucks in Kenya. The move by the President to reduce the vehicle manufacturers’ taxes in Kenya is expected to lure more investors into investing in the country and soon the vehicle manufacturing business will be a boom.