Honda East Africa, Honda’s branch in Nairobi, has announced in Nairobi today that Honda is continuing its expansion into sub-Saharan Africa with the establishment of a brand new Honda automotive facility in the Kenyan capital.
The move will mark the return of the Honda automobile brand to the East African country after a seven-year hiatus and heralds a new era of growth for the marque in the region.
The new dealership will be located in a dedicated facility on Mombasa Road, in close proximity to several other car dealerships. The facility is already undergoing a comprehensive upgrade to meet Honda’s stringent standards.
The dealership will be operated in partnership with TransAfrica Motors (TAM), a Dubai-based industrial conglomerate with a wide range of interests, including four commercial vehicle dealerships in Kenya. TAM will run the Honda dealership as a separate division within the company.
The new facility will offer customers access to a wide range of Honda’s latest and most advanced vehicles, including the soon-to-be-launched Brio entry-level compact hatchback, the new-generation Honda CR-V, and the aspirational Accord luxury sedan.
Honda Motor Southern Africa (HSAF), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, will provide wide-ranging support for the new venture as far as product and parts supply, staff training and operating systems are concerned. This will allow the facility to combine its new-car sales with a full service and parts offering to support existing Honda owners in Kenya.
Addressing the media in Nairobi, Graham Eagle, HSAF director of sales and marketing commented, "We are delighted to bring Honda cars back to Kenya after such a long absence. Our return to Kenya is an important step in our strategy of expansion, which has already seen the opening of our Honda East Africa representative office in Nairobi."
Recruiting of staff for the new dealership has already begun. Once the product and service training has been completed, the dealership operating systems are in place, and the upgrades to the facility itself have been completed, the dealership will open its doors for business. The expected timing is the first quarter of 2013.
HSAF’s mandate from Honda Motor Company in Japan is to expand into sub‑Saharan markets where the brand is not currently represented, and to launch suitable Honda products in these markets. The strategy also makes provision for the upgrading of existing Honda dealers, as well as the appointment of new dealerships in the southern and East-African regions.
As a result, HSAF has expanded its own operational capability, in the areas of dealer support staff, technical support and training. The company has also added an R&D component to its operation, which will allow a full understanding of the technical and customer requirements specific to the region.
This support capability, combined with HSAF’s substantial stockholding of products and parts, as well its established logistics systems, will ensure that Honda’s growth targets within Africa will be achieved.