24 April 2014

Kenya: Car-Drawn Trailers Gather Steam in Kenyan Market

Nairobi — As infrastructure in the country continues to grow, entrepreneurs are now tapping into the transport sector where demand has risen.

Among them include Geir Ostrem with his new product, light car-drawn trailers into the Kenyan market that is set to 'steal' light truck customers.

"The idea of the company was actually launched by my father who imported a trailer from Norway many years ago and whenever he was moving around goods in Kenya, people would stop him and ask him, where he got the trailer... thus the idea was born," Ostrem recounted.

His father pushed him to quit his job in one of the biggest companies in Norway to start the business that officially kicked off operations in January 2012.

The car-drawn trailers are targeted for different markets with a variety of sizes that include single axe trailers with 1 tonne capacity, as well as double axe trucks with 1.5 tonnes capacity.

"We are copy pasting the Norwegian market to the Kenyan market because in Norway the trailers are owned by everybody who owns a car; it is a must have trailer for every household," he said.

The company is targeting everybody that owns a car from companies that need transport services, farmers as well as individuals who need extra car carriage.

"We are adding capacity; most people own a car and a pickup, but here is a great idea, own a car and a light car- drawn trailer, it's cheaper to use and maintain, and has a bigger loading capacity than a pickup," he recommends.

He says that any car can pull a trailer depending on its towing capacity and depending on the sizes the aluminium made trailer will cost as low as Sh290,000.

The company imports the body parts of the trailers from Norway and assembles them in the country.

"The demand has been overwhelming... we have seen interest in the country as well as demand in Tanzania and Uganda. The main problem is people are not aware of the product," he said.

"It's a new product in the market and people are always asking what can I use it for? And my answer is what do you use a pick up for? Whatever a pickup can do a trailer can do more."

The company targets to have about 30 percent of Kenyans owning the trailer in the next two years.

"We are also targeting the buses, with the new rules of capacity, buses will need additional capacity to carry their customers' goods. Already, a bus company has ordered for about five trailers, we are expecting to see more," he said.

"We are also making mobile clinics as well as mobile kitchens on order; this is also untapped market we seek to get into."

The company targets to sell over 100 trailers in 2014.

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