Kenya's burgeoning luxury car market incentivizes top-end manufacturers
On the latest episode of ‘Marketplace Africa’, the programme examines Kenya’s luxury car market – one that is among the fastest growing on the continent and is now attracting top-end car manufacturers to the country.
Despite traffic issues in Nairobi, where congestion costs the country more than 500,000 dollars a day, these issues are not deterring the growth of the market nor the appeal of the investing.
Financial analyst Aly Khan Satchu outlines this expansion to CNN: "What we are seeing across sub Saharan Africa is a very exponential expansion in the ultra-high net worth category… These folks they want to make a statement that they have arrived, that people can recognize as quality mark straight away and I think that's what's driving the demand in these ultra-luxury vehicles"
‘Marketplace Africa’ hears how surveys have shown that Africa’s ultra-high net worth individuals are more likely to invest their money in luxury vehicles than any of their counterparts around the world.
This has led to luxury car brands setting up across the continent, with Kenya at the forefront as one of the fastest growing markets in Africa.
Satchu explains to the programme: “Fortunately for Kenya it’s a frontier market which is not commodity dependent. I think that is part of the attraction as well, it's also a hub for the entire region. If you are going to try and address this East African market, you are bound to start off in Nairobi… The demand is growing quicker and I think a lot of these brands want to get in there early and get the mindshare.”
Although most luxury car brands in Kenya saw a dip in sales in 2016, compared to the previous year, auto dealers remain optimistic about their long-term prospects.
CNN speaks to Dimitrios Karakoulas of the Porsche Centre in Nairobi, who outlines the goals for the company in Kenya and what drew the owner of the dealership to sell Bentleys in market for the first time.
Karakoulas explains: “We saw some used cars being imported into the country from privateers that wanted to have the best when it comes to automotive solutions… We decided we should take the step forward and be the first to introduce a truly luxury brand in the country… We believe if we can sell 10 vehicles a year it will be very successful for us.”
‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ airs Friday 6th October at 1815 EAT on CNN International