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Volkswagen, Peugeot, Toyota, strengthen production in Kenya, VW to introduce new model

German carmaker Volkswagen says it plans to double production in Kenya and to introduce a new model at its plant in Thika.

VW South Africa head Thomas Schaefer disclosed this over the weekend in a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. The meeting held in the South African town of East London in the margins of meetings with the South African ruling party ANC.

Kenya is fast becoming a hub for carmakers. While VW set up in the country in 2016 producing its first car there last year, Japan’s Toyota started assembling some models in 2015. French carmaker Peugeot joined the fray in 2017.

He said the firm was exploring producing a second model in Kenya, possibly a hatchback (small SUV), while doubling production of the VW Polo Vivo to at least 300 vehicles.

Welcoming the plan, President Kenyatta stated that Kenya had a ready market for cars produced in Kenya, provided that they were sold at affordable prices.

He said: “We will walk this journey with you to produce affordable cars. Our plea is that you price these vehicles reasonably.

“We are very keen that our youth, a highly educated group, can get to work in a company of great technological sophistication as VW, which is why we welcome your plans to go full throttle to increase production”.

Schaefer, who is also responsible for VW’s operations in Africa, has said that his vision is to see a successful operation in Kenya in the east, Nigeria in the west, and South Africa. Kenya’s interest is to grow a major auto manufacturing plant, with the capacity to meet the supply needs of East and Central Africa.

Kenya is fast becoming a hub for carmakers. While VW set up in the country in 2016 producing its first car there last year, Japan’s Toyota started assembling some models in 2015. French carmaker Peugeot joined the fray in 2017.

 

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