French Company, Toyota Rev Up Kenya Car Market With Joint Imports Deal

Paris-based Bolloré Group has signed a joint venture agreement that will see two Japanese companies further tap into the finished car import business in Kenya.

Bolloré Transport & Logistics, partnered with trading company Toyota Tsusho Corporation and international shipping company NYK Line.

The French firm, which initially launched its operations in Kenya as SDV Transami, has through its Kenyan subsidiary of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, partnered with trading company Toyota Tsusho Corporation and international shipping company NYK Line to establish the vehicle logistics company Bolloré NYK Auto Logistics Limited.

The logistics firm will provide services that include inland transport, car storage and customs clearance at the Mombasa port, which also serves as a gateway other countries in the region.

The firm will also offer pre-delivery services such as final inspections, repairs, and parts application before delivery to a car dealer.

“Kenya is a country currently experiencing strong economic growth. It is expected to see a rise in finished car imports and become a gate port for countries in East Africa.

“At the Mombasa port, this new company will offer a variety of services, such as inland transport, and pre-delivery inspection as well as car storage and customs clearance within this year,” NYK Line said in a statement on their website.

The strategic partnership will seek to exploit the established transport and warehousing business that Bolloré currently enjoys in the country and Toyota Tsusho’s network experience.

“This strategic three-way partnership will merge the knowledge and know-how built up by Bolloré and Toyota Tsusho in a range of business developments, together with the considerable experience and technologies in vehicle logistics acquired by NYK around the world,” said Toyota Tsusho.

The entry of Bolloré NYK Auto Logistics Limited comes at a time when the vehicle market for imported and locally assembled cars has declined by 22.4 per cent in the nine months to September.

Higher excise taxes imposed on imported cars last year led to the slump.

Total vehicle sales in the period stood at 60,391 units compared to 77,902 the year before, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Toyota Tsusho, a general trading company, is a member of the Toyota Group.

NYK Auto limited is a global player with a broad experience with finished-car logistics solutions, Bolloré is a company headquartered in France while Toyota Tsusho is a Japanese conglomerate with businesses cutting across various sectors.

The joint venture also follows the signing of an agreement between Toyota Tsusho and Bolloré South Africa in January as the two firms move to work towards creating collaborations in Africa and neighbouring regions as they move to strengthen their presence in the continent.

– Business Daily