Chinese car firm opens new offices in Nairobi

Chinese automaker Beiqi Foton Motor has opened new headquarters in Nairobi and launched a number of dealerships.

The Foton Motor East Africa Operation Centre is part of the company’s aggressive comeback strategy after its maiden operations, through Foton East Africa, floundered.

The company has also opened a new dealership in Nairobi, in addition to appointing three more distributors in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Simba Motors in Tanzania, AKagera Business Group in Rwanda and Seaway in Uganda have been appointed on exclusive distributor basis and join several others in Kenya.

Pewin Motors, which is Foton’s dealer in Nairobi, Roton Africa in Mombasa, Lochab Bros in Eldoret and Kylin Motor in Kisumu make up the seven dealers reporting to the multinational’s local representative subsidiary Foton Motor Kenya.

The previous dealer’s collapse came in 2017 after it failed to secure a sizeable share of the local market where other Chinese brands such as Chery, JMC, Sinotruck and Grand Tiger are using relatively lower pricing to gain ground.

Foton Motor General Manager Apple Sun said the Sh800 million headquarters will be a showroom as well as service centre.

“In addition, as part of our job localisation strategy, we intend to employ more Kenyans, even as currently 70 per cent of our employees are Chinese,” he said, adding that this would include technicians, sales representatives, as well as engineers.

And with a new strategy, Mr Sun said the firm intends to capture at least seven per cent of the market in three years.

“This would mean we will be focusing on distributing where we are strong most among our wide range of vehicles including pickups, tippers, prime movers, buses and personal cars,” he said.

Beiqi Foton Motor