Car Dealers in the country have come out to fault the government for reaching the decision to lock out imports of cars older than five years old since the year of manufacture in the country.
The Car Dealers and Yard owners, through the Kenya Auto Bazaar Association, criticized the government’s plan laid out in the National Automotive Policy that seeks to reduce the age of imported vehicles from 8 years to five years since the manufacturing year.
The Association through a statement sent to News Today argued that such a policy was going to disrupt the automobile market by causing massive increases in car prices.
The Association further stated that the hike in car prices would make car ownership a privilege only accessed by the high-end personnel in society.
The Kenya Auto Bazaar Association also claimed that a majority of Kenyans would lose their jobs if the Policy was implemented since a lot of people are involved in the automobile trade among them the mechanics, staff, Drivers among them Uber Drivers, Car Wash owners, and other thousands of people who are involved either directly or indirectly in the motor trade.
The Association further revealed that the government had reached the decision to come up with the Policy without engaging the affected parties and citizens and expressed their belief that only a few handful individuals would benefit from the scheme.
The Association has asked Kenyans to come out in large numbers and demand for the redrafting of the Automobile Policy, adding that they had already submitted their own Draft Policy which includes a total ban on all commercial vehicles and were hopeful that their plea could be heard.
Over 85% of the total cars purchased in Kenya were purchased from Car Yards or through Automobile dealers with most of them being older than 5 years since the year of manufacture (meaning that a majority of vehicles on Kenyan roads were manufactured before 2014).
Only 15% of the cars in Kenya were purchased from Brand New Dealerships whose clientele mainly consists of Governments, High Net worth Individuals, Corporates and Parastatals. This is majorly because a majority of middle-income earning Kenyans cannot afford to purchase a Brand new car due to the high cost.
This basically means that the government will be the greatest loser if the Policy goes through since it will lead to a lesser number of Kenyans buying cars, which in turn will affect the revenue generated by the government through automobile and car dealerships companies.
Closure of showrooms and loss of jobs will also affect the economy negatively causing the government losses at a time when it needs all its money together due to the outstanding loan and Budget Deficit.
This move, if passed will lead to the closure of over 2 Million SMEs who are directly and indirectly involved in the importation, direct sales, brokerage, spare part sales and repairs of second-hand motor vehicles in favor of less than a few hundred foreign motor vehicle investors.
Case in point, BMW and Porsche Brand New Car Dealers sold not a single vehicle in the month of March this year.
“The Legislation if not amended seeks to cause more damage than good in the Country’s Economy, that is if there is no hidden deal and strings to it-and we see none.” A senior Car importer based in Nairobi lamented.
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