VW boom for Kenya

East African Business Week - - LETTERS/PERSPECTIVE -

Ed­i­tor,

News of the full pro­duc­tion for VW cars in Kenya start­ing in Jan­uary, has caused much thought. Some are not very en­thu­si­as­tic.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta has been push­ing very hard for the ven­ture, be­cause its a pres­ti­gious pil­lar of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

But the huge re­con­di­tioned ve­hi­cle in­dus­try may not be so re­cep­tive. On the other hand, cus­tomers will be more con­cerned over pric­ing. When the gov­ern­ment lifted re­stric­tions on the im­ports of Ja­panese re­con­di­tioned ve­hi­cles, there was an ex­plo­sion of new own­er­ship. Now, we are told that the longterm prospects of the VW ven­ture will also de­pend on the gov­ern­ment reim­pos­ing these re­stric­tions.

The VW project is a boom for Kenya’s in­dus­trial pro­file, but you won­der at what cost to the less af­flu­ent.

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