STIHL EA sets eyes on localizing its product development with $100 million investment
Power tools manufacturer STIHL East Africa has announced it will invest Sh100 million in local accessories manufacturing every year as it seeks to localise its product development in the region.
The firm has partnered with local firms that Include Proteq Automation Ltd and Tippers and Trailer Limited who have been tasked to make accessories for all STIHL East Africa products in the region.
STIHL East Africa Managing Director Francois Marais says the move will see the firm reduce accessory costs, increase employment and boost the local economy by injecting Sh100 million every year.
“STIHL continually demonstrates its world-leading competence with innovations designed to improve functionality, ease of product use, environmental protection, and health and safety at work. Our products are synonymous with quality, we have instructed the companies to adhere to our quality standards in a bid to ensure that STIHL remains top of quality,” said Maraias.
The move comes as the firm recently launched new products in the market designed to enable smallholder farmers adopt mechanisation in their farms in a bid to increase their productivity and income.
The range of products available in the East African market include tillers, water pumps, brushcutters, tea pruners, earth augers, concrete cutters, high pressure cleaners, and vacuum cleaners, chainsaws, among other handheld tools, made specially for the East African market.
“Buying decisions for machines are no longer taken merely based on design and engineering criteria, but rather on the question, ‘How will you as my OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) support my business, ensuring performance, efficiency and productivity of my machine?’ SMEs in Kenya have demonstrated their ingenuity and capacity to meet the firms’needs, ” he noted.
On his part, STIHL East Africa product development officer Daniel Mandellah says some of the accessories to be made locally include agricultural machinery attachments and spares, dealers shop systems, bolt and nuts for various machines, water pump accessories, landscaping and gardening tools attachments, chainsaws attachments, high pressure cleaners accessories among others.
“Customers today are looking for life-time support and services – and when it comes to the latter, accessories supply plays a crucial role. With local supply, we will never have to worry about spare parts,” he explained.
Kenya’s manufacturing industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been declining, from 9.3 percent in 2016 to 7.2 percent in 2021 according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS, 2022), despite its potential to transform the economy.