The First Locally Assembled SUV, Toyota Fortuner, Launched

by Business Watch Team
Toyota Fortuner

Kenya’s largest automotive distributor and service provider CFAO Motors has today launched the first locally assembled passenger sports utility vehicle (SUV), the Toyota Fortuner, and investing an additional Ksh120 million towards the Fortuner assembly line at the Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) located in Mombasa County.

The investment into the assembly line, which was commissioned by H.E. President Dr. William Ruto, covers the technological investment – the assembly jigs and fixtures, and the training and knowledge transfer that has enabled the creation of 100 direct and 500 indirect jobs.

Beyond direct job creation, CFAO Motors Kenya will work closely with local parts manufacturers to bolster capacity building and assist them achieve global standards by upskilling them through technology transfer and technical know-how.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, CFAO Motors Kenya Chairman, Amb. Dennis Awori said the automotive firm anticipates impressive production levels from the assembly line due to a growing demand for passenger SUVs in the market. “In our first year, we target to assemble 350 vehicles, with plans for a progressive increase in line with the National Automotive Policy and rising market demand.”

The addition of the Fortuner assembly line adds to CFAO Motors Kenya’s locally assembled vehicles portfolio, especially after the recent merger with DT Dobie. CFAO Motors now locally assembles the Land Cruiser LC79 series, the Hino trucks and buses, the Hilux single and double cab pickups, and the Toyota Hiace (mini-bus) at the Associated Vehicle Assemblers; and the Mercedes Benz trucks & buses, Hyundai trucks & Volkswagen passenger cars at the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers assembly plant in Thika.

The Fortuner assembly line includes state-of-the-art assembly fixtures crucial for maintaining the highest quality standards during production.

The introduction of the Fortuner CKD assembly line signifies CFAO Motors’ ongoing commitment to the Government’s manifesto around manufacturing and the ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ agenda. Since locally assembled vehicles enjoy duty exemptions, CFAO Motors will be in a position to offer the new Fortuner 2023 at a fairly competitive price compared to fully imported units SUVs.

CFAO Motors Kenya Managing Director, Arvinder Reel, lauded the government’s efforts to encourage the growth of the local manufacturing sector, citing the National Automotive Policy as an enabler to the availability of more locally assembled vehicles in the country.

“The anticipated operationalization of the National Automotive Policy will, without doubt, push the automotive industry into exponential growth in locally assembled vehicles. These vehicles not only offer more job opportunities and increased local components manufacturing capacity but give Kenyans an opportunity to own brand new vehicles more affordably.”

CFAO Motors has in place a carbon-neutral strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by introducing environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles.

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