Local manufacturing to get a major boost after Toyota Kenya announced plans to inject Sh 100 million into local production of its pick up truck, Hilux model from October.
On its current portfolio of local assembly are Land Cruiser pick-ups, Hino trucks and Yamaha Motorcycles. It targets to assemble over 500 pick up trucks in the first year.
Toyota Kenya Managing Director Arvinder Reel said, “We took a decision to work with Hilux because this is one of our highest selling models. By end of October we expect the first batch of locally assembled Hilux out. This will be the first phase since we are looking to assemble other models in the near future. For now we will be concentrating on the Hilux so that we make it a case study for the passenger vehicles.”
“We are expecting the equipment to come in between now and August. We have so far trained our staff and we have had Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) partners come in to train our people further,” he added.
The motor dealer said it targets to create more than 1,000 jobs and support the government in its Big Four aspect of manufacturing.
Toyota Kenya is banking on the Automotive Policy, which is still being processed for implementation, that is designed to address the challenges affecting the vehicle industry including the lack of dedicated legal, institutional regulatory framework, importation of parts by franchise holders instead of procuring from local parts manufacturers and influx of used fully built units, among others.
Kenya currently has only three motor vehicle assembly plants, Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers in Thika, AVA in Mombasa and Isuzu EA in Nairobi. The installed capacity of the three is about 34,000 cars annually but currently operating at about a fifth of the capacity.