Monthly automobile sales growth rate slipped to a three-year-low in June with total transactions declining by 13.21 per cent, year-on-year as election jitters hit the industry.
Latest data from Kenya Motor Industry Association, indicates that major segments witnessed record decline during the month’s sales as the sector bore the brunt of negative consumer sentiment, with some firms apprehensive to spend on new vehicles and entering leasing contracts with car dealers.
Sales for June stood at 959 units compared to 1,105 units sold during the same period last year with the annual industry forecast further adjusted to 12,800 units down from 13,500, signaling tough months ahead for companies – which have sold just 5,595 vehicles since the year began.
The report reflects dismal performance in the sector over the last two-and-a-half years despite good 2015 where 19,799 vehicles were sold.
Vehicle market edged down nine per cent last month with 946 units sold compared to 1,039 units in 2016, while in the first three months of the year, car makers sold just 2,682 units, which is 1,002 units fewer than a similar period in 2016.
Market leader with 34 per cent share, General Motors East Africa’s year-to-date domestic sales is just 1,948 units compared to 2,308 units over similar period last year resulting in a 15.6 per cent volume decline, with similar trends being seen with other car makers.
Vehicle consultant, Stephen Mbuthi, however, says the market is likely to pick up after elections, though this will depend on the regime in place and its policies towards the sector.