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Daimler targets EA market with Kenyan-built Mercedes-benz buses

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German automotive company, Daimler is targeting commercial vehicle market with its Kenyan-built bus chassis.

The auto company known for vehicle models, Mercedes-benz, will stick with DT Dobie as its distribution partner to help drive that growth, joining a long list of vehicle manufacturers that have announced plans to set up locally. Others are Volkswagen (VW), Peugeot, Iveco and most recently truck manufacturer, Volvo.

DT Dobie Kenya is also the authorized seller for Volkswagen, Jeep and Hyundai Light trucks among others.

Headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, the auto firm will rival Isuzu and Scania brands to meet the growing population’s demand for public transportation, whose current deficit is estimated at 2,500 new buses yearly.

Figures from Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) puts Isuzu ahead in terms of both units sold and market share, with a 90.3 per cent market for medium buses and 50 per cent for large buses market and a combined 558 units sold as of May, 2017 for the two segments.

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The planned investment will include the assembling of 37-seater commuter buses whose asking price is Sh 3.8million and 60-seater passenger bus for long distance travel capped at Sh9.99million for its initial retail price.

The franchise comes barely two months after Volvo cut links with Portuguese car dealer, Auto-Sueco for NECST Motors East Africa as its distributor and seller of Volvo brands in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with the dealership touted to raise Volvo’s regional market share, largely dominated by Isuzu and Toyota’s Hino brands.

The deal has also seen Daimler open a regional office in Nairobi which will be responsible for expanding footprint across Sub- Saharan Africa.

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