Nairobi — Car maker and assembler General Motors East Africa has increased capacity in its assembling plant to meet growing demand and stave industry competition.
The official opening of the expanded plant presided over by Vision 2030 Director Mugo Kibati last week completes a $1.2 million capital injection after a three month shut-down for the same.
The regional firm which specializes in light, medium, heavy trucks and buses has invested into the expanded plant which is expected to triple its production capacity by close of 2013.
The company sold over 12,000 trucks in the East African region over the last five years making it's the leading automobile assembler and seller in the trucks category.
GM East Africa Managing Director attributed the expansion of the plant to increased demand for buses and trucks in the East African region. Much of this demand comes from transport operators and governments which are now investing in high capacity carriers in a bid to ease traffic congestion in major cities.
"This upgrade has been necessitated by increased demand for high capacity carriers by both private transport operators and governments keen on reducing congestions in public transport. We have also witnessed a sharp increase in demand for our trucks in the sub-Sahara region," said Ms. Kavashe.
The expanded plant has been fitted with the latest vehicle assembling technology and the most modern equipment even as the company looks at being major exporter of light and heavy trucks in most African markets.
General Motors, the giant US multinational headquartered in Detroit has manufacturing plants in Egypt, South Africa and Kenya, servicing its markets in the entire African continent.
"We now have enough capacity to meet the growing demand in the region and on the continent," she said.
GM East Africa has been engaged in cut-throat competition with Toyota. The company registered 3,421 units in sales last year clinching the market leadership slot in the region with a 27 per cent market shared. Globally, GM has taken leadership in sales for the 2010 and 2011 year consecutively but lost again to Toyota in 2012.
We will continue investing in the latest technology and trucks that meet and surpass the needs of our customers. Our good understanding of the tough terrain in most regional countries and the varying needs of our customers has given us an edge over competition and we are keen on maximizing on this," said Kavashe during the opening of the expanded plant along Nairobi's Mombasa Road.
The company has in the recent years been aggressive in marketing inking partnerships with the cooperative movement in the Kenya to enhance investment in public transport through the purchase of high capacity buses.
This model has been boosted by the government which is insisting on public transport operators to invest in high capacity carriers to ease congestion on the roads.
Some of the flagship brands of General Motors East Africa are the highly successful Isuzu, Chevrolet and Hummer.