Kenya’s new luxury car market recorded a contraction of 26.5 per cent in the nine months ended September, with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) being the only dealer to have recorded sales growth in the period.
Data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association shows that sales of high-end cars dropped to 224 units in the period compared to 305 units last year.
Luxury car dealers have attributed the sales decline to a cutback in spending by rich and middle class households besides tighter credit markets.
Land Rover models, including Range Rover and Discovery, defied the sales slump to move 74 units up from 66 units in what saw the brand replace Porsche as the top selling marque in the local market.
Jaguar sales more than doubled to 27 units from 12 recorded in the corresponding period. Jaguar and Land Rover brands are sold by RMA Kenya, which took over the franchise from CMC Holdings.
“Our sales are up because of our value-added proposition in terms of extended warranty and service plan,” RMA Kenya chief executive Sanjiv Shah said in an interview. He said the dealer is offering a five-year or 150,000-kilometre warranty with each car purchase while the service plan stands at 100,000 kilometres or five years. Mr Sanjiv added that RMA has also invested in a diverse stock of luxury cars.
“We have a car for every pocket from $60,000 (Sh6 million) to $360,000 (Sh36.3 million),” he said.
Sales of Porsche, whose demand skyrocketed soon after the brand’s launch in 2014, declined the most to 46 units from 81. They were followed by Mercedes whose sales fell to 47 units from 75.
Sales of BMWs, through Bavaria Auto, dropped to 16 units from 40. Jeep Grand sales declined to 14 units from 31, rounding the list of brands whose demand slowed in the period.
Mercedes and Jeep form part of the franchises held by DT Dobie. The rivals continue to launch new models, competing on pricing and brand reputation to grow sales.
CMC recently introduced the Ford Mustang sports car in the Kenyan market, targeting growing demand for high performance cars among rich and middle class motor enthusiasts.
DT Dobie will on Friday launch the latest version of its Mercedes E-Class model which is popular among corporate executives and top government officials.
The updated models of the E-Class — the E200, E250 and E300 — will be available in the dealer’s showrooms in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Nairobi’s Lusaka and Westlands branches.
The price of the E200 starts at €89,000 (Sh9.8 million) while E250 sells from €97,000 (Sh10.7 million), with customers paying more for extra specifications and fittings. The price of the E300 was not immediately available.
Credit: Business Daily