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New car sales rebound in first half as COVID restrictions ease

New car sales in Kenya jumped 35% in the first half of this year, the industry association said on Tuesday, buoyed by the lifting of some coronavirus lockdown measures.

Kenya is a small market for new vehicles as many consumers are confined to second-hand imports from Japan by purchasing power limitations.

The country does, however, have some local assembly of cars from global automakers like Volkswagen thanks to the market’s growth potential.

The industry sold 6,246 new vehicles during the first six months of this year, the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMIA) said.

Car Sales Slump

Sales slumped in the same period a year earlier after the government imposed strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It started to roll them back towards the end of the year.

The first-half figures were also boosted by the fulfilment of customer orders placed in 2020, which had been held up by supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, KMIA said.

They also benefited from increased spending by the government on infrastructure projects like construction of roads, the association said, which fuelled demand for light commercial cars.

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