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Toyota’s car manufacturing plant set to rev up Kenya

Kenya’s manufacturing sector is poised for a significant boost following a deal from Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation to establish a car assembly plant in the country.

The Japanese company is also exploring investment opportunities in the country’s renewable energy development, as part of an agreement signed between the multinational and the Kenyan government.

Toyota is preparing to set up a state-of-the-art vehicle manufacturing plant in Kenya with an initial investment commitment of Kes800 million in the Kenya Thika vehicle manufacturers. This move by the Japanese company aims to play a pivotal role in driving the country’s automotive industry forward.

The investment will entail upgrading its current operations, which include importing, distributing, and retailing vehicles and spare parts, as well as after-sales service operations in Kenya. Across the continent, the company operates automobile production and assembly plants in South Africa and Ghana.

President William Ruto hailed the agreement as a monumental step that not only strengthens Kenya-Japan ties but also expands job and growth opportunities for Kenyans.

While emphasizing the goal of ensuring affordability in locally manufactured vehicles, President Ruto, who is on a visit to Japan, underscored the importance of striking a balance between imported and newly manufactured vehicles.

The establishment of the assembly plant aligns with Kenya’s broader vision of reducing reliance on used cars and promoting the domestic automotive sector.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Tokyo, Japan, saw President Ruto in attendance alongside Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan President Ichiro Kashitani. The Kenya-Toyota Tsusho Corporation agreement signifies a commitment from both parties to drive sustainable economic growth and foster technological advancement in Kenya.

In addition to vehicle manufacturing, the agreement includes a significant focus on the development of renewable energy in East Africa’s largest economy. This includes a substantial investment of Kes15 billion in the Meru Wind Farm Energy project, Kes8 billion in the Isiolo Solar Energy project, and Kes75 billion in the Menengai Geothermal Plant.

Read also: Green energy transition for a healthier planet

Renewable energy initiatives

By prioritizing renewable energy initiatives, Kenya aims to reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy security, and propel its transition towards a more sustainable future in the face of the adverse impacts of climate change.

Furthermore, the agreement underscores Toyota’s dedication to promoting electrified vehicles, including hydrogen electric vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles in its product stable.

With a growing emphasis on clean transportation solutions, the promotion of electrified vehicles aligns with Kenya’s commitment to combating climate change and fostering green innovation.

As the automotive industry evolves towards sustainability and renewable energy becomes increasingly pivotal, Kenya’s partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation marks a transformative milestone.

By leveraging the expertise and resources of a global automotive leader, Kenya is poised to accelerate its industrial development and emerge as a hub for innovation in both the automotive and renewable energy sectors in Africa.

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