VW plans to double output from Kenya plant


VW plans to increase Kenya production of the Polo Vivo.

January 13, 2018 16:39 CET

NAIROBI — Volkswagen plans to double output at its Kenyan assembly plant and could build a second model there, Kenya’s presidential office said, without giving a timeline.

VW set up the vehicle assembly plant in 2016, resuming production in Kenya after a four decade break. The plant has started by assembling VW’s Polo Vivo model.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was told by VW’s South Africa chief Thomas Schaefer that the automaker 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,” the presidential office said on Friday.

VW has long experience operating in emerging markets. But Kenya’s car market is dominated by low-priced, second-hand imports from countries, such as Japan.

Other brands assembling vehicles in Kenya include Isuzu, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and PSA Group.

Kenya is an “opportunity market” in Africa, VW said when it opened the Kenya factory in December 2016. “The country has an outstanding position within the region of East Africa and has the most powerful economy in the East African Community with a GDP of about $ 63 billion. In addition, Kenya is a key transit country for trade throughout East Africa,” VW said.

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