January 13, 2018 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

Volkswagen plans to double output from Kenya plant, Kenyan presidency says

FILE PHOTO: A Volkswagen logo is pictured at the International Auto Show in Mexico City, Mexico November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

NAIROBI (Reuters) - German automaker Volkswagen (VW) (VOWG_p.DE) plans to double output at its Kenyan assembly plant and could build a second model there, Kenya’s presidential office said without giving a timeline.

VW set up the vehicle assembly plant in 2016, resuming production in Kenya after a four decade break. The plant has started by assembling VW’s Vivo model.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was told by VW’s South Africa chief Thomas Schaefer “the firm was exploring producing a second model in Kenya, possibly a hatchback - small SUV - while doubling production of the VW Polo Vivo to at least 300 vehicles,” the presidential office said in a statement late on Friday.

VW has long experience operating in emerging markets. But Kenya’s car market is dominated by low-priced, second-hand imports from countries, such as Japan.

Other brands assembling vehicles in Kenya include Isuzu (7202.T), Toyota (7203.T), Nissan (7201.T), Mitsubishi (8058.T) and Peugeot (PEUP.PA).

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Edmund Blair

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