Pewin Motors has inked a deal to sell and service products of Chinese Foton Motors in the Kenyan market.
The deal, which extends for three years, will see Foton’s light and heavy commercial vehicles displayed at Pewin’s showroom on Lusaka Road, Nairobi.
Pewin chairman Peter Kirigua said the joint venture would create employment opportunities for locals across the country.
“We are looking to start with distributing 500 vehicles annually and expect a lot of government support on this,” he said on Wednesday during the signing of the agreement at the China-Africa Capacity Co-operation Exposition at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
While remaining tight-lipped on details of the MOU, Mr Kirigua noted that the vehicles exhibited will be 20 per cent less expensive than others of comparable features.
He said the company would be looking to sub-contract dealers across the country to take the products closer to customers.
Mr Kirigua noted that most of the vehicles at the showroom, which is already operational, have been tested and proven fit for the Kenyan roads.
Foton Motors opted out of an initial deal with Foton East Africa following a string of bad reputation on the later that it felt was not good for business.
Foton East Africa’s multi-million-shilling Nairobi assembly plant was auctioned to repay debts, which marked the end of the distribution contract for the firm that first entered the Kenyan market in 2011.
Foton Motors is owned by the government of China and Mercedes Benz of Germany.
In 2015, Pewin had entered a similar partnership with General Motors East Africa’s (GMEA) to operate a dedicated Chevrolet brand showrooms in Karen.
The deal ended following the exit of Chevrolet from East Africa, which was soon followed by Isuzu Motors buying out General Motors’ 57.7 per cent in GMEA.
The China-Africa Capacity Cooperation Exposition brings together 56 enterprises from China with the aim of exposing them to investment opportunities available in the East African market.
The exhibition targets to encourage the development of trading and business partnerships with local players, creating a multi-level, multi-industrial and multi-element display.
Foton Motor Kenya Ltd., the wholly-owned subsidiary of Foton International, is responsible for the dual brands operation of Foton in the markets of Kenya and East Africa.
“We are going to develop a wide distributor network across the country to distribute our vehicles to Kenyan consumers,” Zhao Xiao, Vice President of Foton International, said during the China Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Expo.
“Pewin Motors is the distributor of our light commercial vehicles, and currently we are also searching for more professional partners in both light and heavy commercial vehicles,” Zhao said.
The four-day event brought together over 60 Chinese enterprises to showcase their latest technology to Kenyan consumers. Foton motors is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in China.
Foton Motor Kenya has built its own spare parts warehouse center and a nationwide service network, and has started to assemble vehicles in some local factories. The company has hoped to sell over 500 Foton vehicles annually.