Nairobi News


Nairobi’s rich order for more Jaguars despite drop in new luxury car sales

New luxury car sales dropped 30.3 per cent last year, with Jaguar being the only model to register higher demand among Kenyan dealers.

Luxury car traders sold 285 units of the high-end vehicles in the year, down from a peak of 409 units recorded in 2015, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).

Orders for Jaguars, sold by RMA Kenya, defied the general slump rising to 39 units from the previous year’s 24.

This is the first time sales in the industry have declined since 2013 when the 252 units sold trailed the previous year’s 265 units.


“The sales drop is attributable to several factors including tighter credit markets and uncertainty ahead of the general election,” said a luxury car dealer who requested for anonymity.

Orders for the luxury car brands including Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW all went down with the exception of Jaguar.

Porsche, sold by Porsche Centre Nairobi, recorded the largest decline moving 54 units last year compared to 102 units in 2015.

It was followed by Mercedes (sold by DT Dobie) whose sales dropped to 68 units from 101 vehicles in the comparative period. Despite the reduced orders, Mercedes retained its position as the top-selling luxury brand.

BMW dealer Bavaria Auto saw its orders fall to 26 units from 51 units while sales of Jeep Grand Cherokee (also by DT Dobie) declined to 17 units from 40.

Sales of Land Rover models such as Discovery and Range Rover (by RMA Kenya) dropped to 81 units from 91 units.

Most of the Jaguar and Land Rover models were sold by the franchise holder RMA, with a few units sold by the former distributor CMC Holdings which is clearing its stocks.

Of the four dealers, only RMA recorded a net sales rise of five units across its luxury car brands. This boosted its market share to 42.1 per cent from 28.1 per cent as rivals lost ground.


RMA’s chief executive Sanjiv Shah has attributed the dealer’s relatively better performance to enhanced warranty and service plans.

He said the dealer is offering a five-year or 150,000 kilometres warranty with each car purchase while the service plan stands at 100,000 kilometres or five years.

Mr Sanjiv added that RMA has also invested in a diverse stock of luxury cars priced from Sh6 million to Sh37 million, catering to various preferences and wallets.

While the dealers recorded lower sales last year, the industry has fully recovered from the government’s policy to reduce purchase of luxury cars for State officials since 2009.

The policy, in additional to overall economic slowdown, saw the industry’s sales fall to 204 units in 2010 and 198 units the next year.

Increased demand from private companies and individuals has however to the recent higher orders, reflecting the general economic growth that has lifted the fortunes of the rich and upper middle class.