The president of Kenya H.E Uhuru Kenyatta on February 4th  welcomed back France Automaker Peugeot which is set to restart its car assembling activities in Kenya. France’s PSA group, who make Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars, said it had signed a contract to start assembling two car models in Kenya. PSA, which wish to increase their Kenyan sales and teke advantage of the ‘build Kenya, buy Kenya’ policy, will assemble the Peugeot 508 and 3008 models from kits of pre-assembled modules with local partner URYSIA, its long-standing Kenyan importer and distributor.

Mr Jean-Christophe Quemard, the PSA Peugeot Group Vice President for Middle East and Africa, disclosed that the company will roll out its first Kenyan assembled car in June 2017. “We have pumped in KES 1.2 billion and are looking to employ 200 people and want to start with at least 1,000 units at a go,” Mr Quemard said.

The French company used to have a manufacturing presence in Kenya from 1974 to 2002. Peugeot ceased its completely knocked down (CKD) assembly in 2004 and thereafter severed links with its franchise holder, Marshalls East Africa, three years later. The brand was very popular in the country from independence to the late 90s when its popularity began to dwindle due to reducing appeal and dependability of their vehicles.  Peugeot’s re-entry comes just three months after German carmaker Volkswagen opened a new assembly in Thika.

During the signing of the contracts Aden Mohamed, the CS for Industrialization said that commencing operations in December 2016, Volkswagen, which will sells its units for between Sh1.6 million and Sh2 million, produced 25 units in the first month.

At the same time, he blamed second-hand products for the problems that plague the Kenyan manufacturing industries. “The s second-hand products are our industries’ single biggest threat. We must face this problem right now and in a calculated manner. He said for the problem to be dealt with effectively, the country must be able to produce new and affordable products.

 

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