Honda Motors has made a return to the Kenyan market in a race for the regional market, seven years after it exited the East Africa market.
The Japanese multinational, mostly known for cars and motorcycles, Thursday announced a franchise deal with a local auto dealer TransAfrica Motors (TAM), which deals in FAW and Dalian forklift brands.
Honda has been feeding the Kenyan market through individual imports and is now seeking to ramp up sales in line with its global strategy of growing sales in emerging countries of Africa and Latin America.
â€œWe are delighted to bring Honda cars back to Kenya after such a long absence and want to assure Kenyans that we have learnt from mistake our dealer did seven years ago,â€ said Graham Eagle, the director of sales and marketing at Honda Motor Southern Africa (HSAF). Its previous dealers were Alfa Motors.
The re-entry of Honda comes as auto dealers are expanding their brands and dealership networks as they seek to grow their sales.
The increased activity in the auto business comes amid a sluggish market and is set to usher in a bruising battle for control to grow sales.
Motor dealers sold 11,491 vehicles in 2010 compared to 10,264 in 2009 and 13,135 in 2008 and analysts attribute the shake-ups of business units as attempts to re-energise sales.