by Fredrick Ngugi, at 11:00 am, February 09, 2017, Business

French Carmaker Peugeot To Resume Operations in Kenya

After exiting the East African market more than a decade ago, French car manufacturer Peugeot has signed a deal with the Kenyan government to reopen its car assembly plant in Kenya this year.

Speaking at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, the company’s vice-president for Middle East and Africa, Jean-Christophe Quemard, announced his company’s intention to launch their first Kenyan-assembled car in June this year.

“We have pumped in $12 million (sh1.2 billion) and are looking to employ 200 people and want to start with at least 1,000 units at a go,” Quemard said.

Quemard also announced that the company will start by assembling its famous brand Peugeot 508.

Kenyan Industrial Sector

Speaking after signing the deal with the French Finance Minister Michel Sapin in Nairobi on Saturday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta assured Peugeot that his government is adopting new policies that will ensure companies operating in Kenya are fully supported by local consumers.

“My government has worked so hard to make our nation the region’s hub for investment and industry. We have worked to remove barriers to Kenyan investors who want to invest in their own country,” President Uhuru said.

The President also pointed out that the Kenyan manufacturing industry is experiencing tremendous growth and is projected to maintain an upward trend for the foreseeable future as more firms are expected to emerge.

The President welcomed the $12 million investment, saying it has come at a time when Kenya is pushing to industrialize its economy.

“Peugeot cars have always been renowned for resilience, durability and reliability. We are proud to welcome them back home,” the President said.

He added that the investment will help to create the much-needed jobs in the country and teach Kenyan youth new skills.

The French car manufacturer will team up with Kenya’s URYSIA Limited, a firm that has been importing and distributing Peugeot vehicles in Kenya since 2010.

In a press release, the PSA Group, the umbrella company that owns Peugeot, said the Kenyan project is part of a strategic profitable growth plan dubbed “Push to Pass” and is aimed at boosting the company’s ambitions to expand internationally.

The company hopes to sell 1 million cars in Africa and the Middle East by the year 2025.

“These local production capacities will serve the region’s markets and meet the expectations of our customers and the specific features of each country,” Quemard added.

Peugeot is returning to Kenya a few months after its German counterpart Volkswagen reopened its vehicle assembly plant in Thika, Kenya, after halting its operations in the country for more than four decades.

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