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Panic hits dealers as State mulls tighter used car rules

Steve Umidha @steveumidha

Anxiety has gripped second-hand vehicle importers as the government moves to reduce the age limit of imported vehicles to boost local automotive manufacturing industry.

Industrialisation ministry appears not to be shifting on its plans to reduce the period from the current eight-year limit to about four years. This is after months of dilly-dallying with the controversial plan whose other aim the State says is to solve heavy traffic jams on country’s roads.

Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the government will formulate a policy to lower the age limit from the current eight years to allow domestic assemblers to compete more effectively in an effort to support local industry.

“We are at the tail-end of developing the motor vehicle policy to be spearheaded by a special task force that will come up with programmes to review the age limit of car importation and other incentives to drive the industry’s growth,” he said last week.

The announcement made by Mohamed, twice within a period of four days, appears to rule out suggestions that the government was having a second thought about the contentious idea.

Lowering the age limit means Kenyans would have to dig deeper into their pockets to import vehicles as newer units are more expensive than older units. Second-hand cars are popular with Kenyan motorists, majority of who prefer used cars due to their affordability.

However, traders in the sector are a devastated lot after learning of the renewed push to change the motor vehicle entry policy for second-hand vehicles into the country.

“Millions of jobs are going to be lost as a result, from clearing and forward agents, distributors and salespeople, who by the way we pay better than those in showrooms,” Charles Munyori, Kenya Auto Bazaar Association secretary said.

There had been speculation about a rethink of the move because of fears of job losses and clamour from car importers. “People have invested millions into car importation business, and you cannot forget the amount Kenya Revenue Authority pockets in taxes.

Such a move is prejudicial to us,” Munyori, who represents thousands of car importers and dealers across the country said in a telephone interview.

The post Panic hits dealers as State mulls tighter used car rules appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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