French carmaker Peugeot returns to Kenya

A Peugeot showroom on Bunyala Road in Nairobi. The firm will establish an assembly plant in Kenya in 2017. DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

French carmaker Peugeot has announced a return to Kenya.

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 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," Mr Quemard said.

It will begin with its famous brand, the 508.

Inward looking

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move showed that Kenya's manufacturing industry was growing significantly.

The President said that his government would adopt an inward looking policy that would see firms operating in Kenya being supported by encouraging the purchase of their products.

"My government will continue to enforce the 'Buy Kenya Build Kenya' policy to support companies and businesses that produce [goods] in Kenya," he said on Saturday at State House in Nairobi.

The new deal

Peugeot ceased its completely knocked down (CKD) Kenyan assembly in 2004 and thereafter severed links with its franchise holder, Marshalls East Africa, three years later.

The new deal was signed with its new franchise holder, Urysia.

Peugeot's re-entry comes just three months after German carmaker Volkswagen opened a new assembly in Thika, about 45km north of Nairobi.

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