Mercedes revs up battle for top spot in Kenya luxury car market

Posted on : Friday , 17th October 2014

Kenya: Franchise managers have moved the race for a share of Kenya’s luxury car market a notch higher with increased investment and marketing. The franchise holders for Porshe — Multiple Group, which comprises Multiple Hauliers and RT East Africa — stoked the latest round of activity in the industry when they opened a showroom for the German automaker along Mombasa Road in Nairobi. Not willing to be left behind, DT Dobie, the franchise holder for Mercedes-Benz, last week launched the S-Class S500, a top-of-the-range luxury model. The S500 retails at between 170,000 euros (Sh20 million) and 230,000 euros (Sh27.1 million).

“This car is not only a status symbol but is also elegant and one of the safest cars in the world today, which is something that most people do not know,” said Mr Stavros Diamantidis, the general manager at DT Dobie and Co Kenya Ltd, during the launch at the Amref hanger, Wilson Airport. DT Dobie’s decision to launch the vehicle follows the growing demand for luxury vehicles among Kenya’s rapidly expanding wealthy class.

“The middle class is growing and so are their preferences and tastes, hence the need for more fresh models. However, although the luxury market is growing, we still see no need to introduce luxury models such as the Cadillac,” said Ms Rita Kavashe, the chief executive at General Motors East Africa Limited (GMEA).

The firm is instead concentrating on its commercial segment, with its utility vehicles “But the middle class is now able to own a Mercedes-Benz and other luxury models, hence the need to introduce more exclusive models for the upper income groups.” Other dealers in the luxury car market include RMA Kenya, which holds the exclusive resale franchise for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. The firm’s Jaguar F-Type convertible models cost between Sh14 million and Sh18 million. DT Dobie, which is the dominant player in the luxury car market, is projecting sales figures of between three and four Mercedes-Benz S500 models a month. Steer itself The vehicle comes with pedestrian recognition and autonomous emergency braking systems, and a suspension system that adjusts for undulations or bumps in the road before the car passes over them.

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