President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday directed the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to find ways of lowering taxes of vehicles fully assembled in the country.
Speaking during the unveiling of the Mahindra vehicles at State House, Nairobi, the President stated that the move is aimed at making the vehicles more affordable.
The Mahindra Scorpio Single and Double cabin pick-ups were assembled at the Associated Vehicle Assembly (AVA Kenya) plant in Mombasa.
AVA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Simba Corporation Limited.
“To make locally assembled vehicles more affordable and available to Kenyans, I have also directed that the National Treasury and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives hold discussions with financial institutions to create special products for locally assembled vehicles,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta further called on motor vehicle assemblers, in consultation with the National Treasury and the Ministry of Industry, to work out a mutually agreeable framework that will ensure the benefits accruing from the tax incentives are passed on to the consumer.
The two Mahindra models join other global automobile brands that are locally assembled. They are Toyota, Peugeot and Volkswagen.
The local assembly of motor vehicles, the head of state said, will also create jobs for Kenyans as well as enhancing technology transfer.
“This is important to us, as it will create more opportunities for our people through employment, facilitate growth of associated downstream industries and encourage even more investments, not only in this sector but in others as well,” the President said.
In keeping with the “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” campaign, the President said the government is promoting market access through preferential procurement of locally assembled vehicles.
“I shall continue to provide incentives to expand this sector,” the President said as he commended Simba Corporation Limited for choosing to expand its investments in Kenya.
“My Government is committed to working together with all players to enhance capacity of the motor industry. I am, in particular, pleased to note the progress we are making in the motor vehicle sector,” the President said.
AVA currently assembles vehicles for 10 vehicle manufacturers and is certified and endorsed by 20 global manufacturers.
President Kenyatta challenged other sector players to take advantage of the refurbished AVA facility, which is currently producing 10,000 units annually, to increase their production.
The Head of State encouraged the private sector, not only in the manufacturing sector but across the entire economy, to tap into the ingenuity of young Kenyans and join in conceptualizing and delivering transformative innovations that will help boost the economy.