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Blow for CMC after Toyota bags Suzuki dealership deal

By Moses Omusolo | February 8th 2019
By Moses Omusolo | February 8th 2019

Car dealer CMC Motors has been dealt a blow after it lost the monopoly to distribute the Suzuki model.

Toyota Kenya has partnered with Suzuki Motor Corporation in a pact that will see the former become the second car dealer of the Japanese vehicle manufacturer.

CMC had for long been the sole distributor of the car model. Suzuki Motors’ Suzuki Alto 800 has become popular with two of the country’s biggest ride-sharing apps, Uber and Taxify, as the taxi wars shift from price to efficiency.

The upset to CMC comes a few months after it was appointed the local dealer of Renault Trucks heavy commercial vehicles. Toyota Kenya Managing Director Arvinder Reel said yesterday an initial six Suzuki models will be sold by its large distributor under the ‘Suzuki by Toyota Kenya’ banner, with a view to offering buyers a choice of vehicles at the lowest possible prices.

Affordable spare parts

“We have continually developed a large network across the country by increasing the number of our showrooms and getting new partners as well,” said Mr Reel at an event announcing the deal in Nairobi.

He said through Toyota’s robust network, customers should expect more affordable spare parts and other after-sales services.

To assist more Kenyans to acquire the vehicles, the company has entered into a partnership with NIC Bank to offer flexible payment terms with financing of up to 90 per cent.

Car assemblers in the country have been struggling, with the much-hyped re-entry of two European automakers - France’s Peugeot and Germany’s Volkswagen - into the Kenyan market not injecting life into the industry. Production of assembled vehicles in the first 10 months of last year remained a far cry from the peak of 2015 when 8,713 vehicles were produced in the same period, according to official figures.

Instead, a paltry 110 additional vehicles were made from January to October last year, bringing the total to 4,308.

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