German automobile manufacturer, Porsche AG, has announced plans to transfer Porsche car dealership from the current dealer, to a new or one of the existing ones in the local market.
The current dealer, Porsche Centre Nairobi, will continue to sell parts and service to clients until March 2021.
Porsche Centre Nairobi is among other luxury car dealers in Kenya including; DT Dobie – Mercedes Benz, Inchcape Kenya – Jaguar, BMW and Land Rover and Bentley Nairobi – Bentley. Bentley Nairobi and Porsche Centre Nairobi have common ownership through their parent company Multiple Hauliers.
The dealership was well received when it opened in May 2014, with sales rallying to 125 units within the first eight months. The strong initial sales were linked to a huge demand for the sports cars among wealthy individuals who could now enjoy access to parts and service from a local dealer.
The reason for the termination of the dealership agreement was not revealed, but sales of the luxury sports cars in Nairobi have dwindled in recent years. Orders for the models, led by the popular Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) Cayenne, stood at 102 units in 2015 and dropped to 54 units the following year.
The outgoing dealer had sold a cumulative 420 cars as of November 2020, according to data from the Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association (KMIA). With showroom prices of the Porsche cars ranging from Ksh. 10 million to Ksh. 28 million, this translates to sales of at least Ksh. 5 billion over the past seven years.
A mix of internal and external factors including stock-outs of cars, higher taxes and stricter lending standards by banks, has reportedly contributed to the weaker sales recorded by the dealer in recent years.
Porsche’s move stamps the trend witnessed in Kenya’s new vehicle market where automakers are constantly reviewing their existing franchises in the country. For instance, DT Dobie took over the Volkswagen dealership from CMC, DT Dobie lost Nissan franchise to Crown Motors and General Motors terminated Isuzu East Africa’s sale of Chevrolet cars.