Sales of new luxury cars fell 14.1% in the nine months ended September, plagued by stockouts at Porsche, which has yet to find a new dealer in the local market.
Data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) shows that car orders, which may be priced above Sh 30 million, fell to 97 units during the reporting period, from 113 units a year earlier. .
Porsche sales fell to one to 19 after the contract with Porsche Center Nairobi dealership was terminated in January last year. The franchise owner, Stuttgart-based Porsche AG, is expected to transfer the dealership to a newcomer or to one of the existing dealerships in the local market.
Franchise transfers usually hurt short-term sales as the licensed dealer is focused on liquidating inventory and the new appointee is slow to settle in.
Orders for Mercedes, sold by DT Dobie, fell from 48 to 43. Sales of Land Rover, under Inchcape Kenya, fell from 20 to 16. Sales of Bentley, whose dealership is Bentley Nairobi, fell to a low. against two. Jaguar’s orders remained unchanged at four, while BMW was the only premium car brand to record sales growth to 32 to 20.
Jaguar and BMW cars are also sold by Inchcape Kenya. Sales of premium cars are expected to take another hit in the near term due to rising showroom prices and supply constraints resulting from the semiconductor crisis.
Shortages of semiconductors – used in electronic devices in cars – have prompted global automakers to cut production.
DT Dobie is among those dealers who have said the crisis could disrupt the supply of some of their models.
The decline in sales at luxury car dealers runs counter to the boom observed in the global new vehicle market which has benefited the players selling pickups, buses and trucks the most.
Total sales of new vehicles increased by 31.5% to 10 044 units during the period considered, compared to 7637 units in the previous year.
The figures include the small volume of exports to neighboring markets such as Uganda and Tanzania, which account for around one percent of overall sales. Improving economic performance thanks to the ease of Covid-19 restrictions has lifted the demand for commercial vehicles, especially in sectors such as commerce, transportation and construction.
Isuzu posted the strongest sales growth of 33.8% to 4,104 units from 3,067 units, giving the dealer a market share of 40.8%. Isuzu exclusively sells its namesake utility vehicles including vans, buses, trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Toyota was second, with unit sales increasing 32.8% to 2,386 from 1,796, giving it a 23.7% market share.