May 20, 2020 / 1:08 PM / 8 days ago

Kenya's new car sales plunge 47% in April due to coronavirus

NAIROBI, May 20 (Reuters) - The number of new vehicles sold in Kenya slumped by almost half last month from the same period a year earlier, due to the coronavirus crisis, an industry association said on Wednesday.

The industry, which is dominated by Isuzu East Africa and Toyota, said 594 new units were sold during the period, down from 1,127 units sold in April last year.

The shift downwards started in March, when the first case of the COVID-19 was reported in the East African nation, as sales dropped to 846 units from 1,049 in February, the Kenya Motor Industry Association said.

There are 1,029 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kenya so far and the government expects economic growth to drop to 2.5-3% this year, down from a pre-pandemic forecast of more than 6%.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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