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Toyota launches assembly plant in Kenya

Japanese automaker Toyota has launched a US$4.9mn truck and bus assembly plant and showroom in Kenya in an attempt to improve its market share in the East African country

Toyota will manage its Kenyan business through its Tokyo-based subsidiary Hino Motors. Mombasa-based Associated Vehicles Assemblers (AVA) will be the production partner for Hino in Kenya.

A statement from Toyota said that an increased competition in the Kenyan market from its competitor brands has led to the company to make this investment.

Hino Motors, general manager Kazuhiko Watanabe said the company was expected to produce 40 trucks and buses every month but will increase production to 200 units within a few months of operation.

Toyota has also expressed hopes to sell 1,200 Hino units in Kenya by 2015.

“AVA was a natural choice for a production partner for Hino. Our engineers are impressed by the level of expertise of the Kenyan workforce and we hope to continue growing local skills and indigenous industry capacity as our business grows,” said Watanabe.

Toyota will price its products competitively, given the tax incentives offered on imported units.

Watanabe said the company recognised that the project was in line with the government’s commitment to attaining its 'Vision 2030'.

He explained, “We recognise creation of jobs as a crucial contributor to the country’s economy as recognised in the economic pillars of Kenya’s Vision 2030. We will transfer technology thorough placement of Japanese engineers at the AVA plant.” 

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