Isuzu East Africa has raised its market share to a new high of 40.1 per cent in the nine months ended September as its sales held up relatively better compared to its rivals.
The performance comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic that saw sales of new vehicles contract sharply on implementation of travel restrictions before starting a gradual recovery as the lockdowns were eased.
Isuzu’s unit sales in the review period stood at 3,067, giving it a 40.1 per cent market share of the industry’s total sales of 7,637, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).
The dealer, which sells its namesake commercial vehicles including pick-ups, buses and trucks, had a 38.8 per cent market share a year earlier when its unit sales was 3,913 out of the total of 10,081.
Isuzu now has a significant lead ahead of Toyota Kenya with which it previously used to swap places at the top of Kenya’s new vehicle sales tables.
Toyota, which sells its namesake passenger cars, pick-ups, minibuses and Hino trucks, had sales of 1,796 which gave it a 23.5 per cent market share in the review period.
Its sales the year before stood at 2,642 and gave it a 26.2 per cent market share.
Simba Corporation, which deals in Renault cars, Mahindra and Mitsubishi commercial vehicles, moved 1,071 units in the review period when it ranked third with a 14 per cent market share.
The company had unit sales of 1,565 a year earlier when its market share was 15.5 per cent.
Isuzu’s market share gains came as the industry’s orders fell 24.2 per cent to 7,637 units, meaning that the company’s rivals had much larger sales drop.
Monthly new vehicle sales have risen to peak at 1,065 in September but the major slump earlier in the year is expected to result in a weaker performance in the full year ending December.
“Reopening of the economy is a major factor for the rebound in sales,” Rita Kavashe, chief executive of Isuzu East Africa, said in a recent interview.
She added that sales for the full-year to December are, however, still projected to be off by 20 to 25 per cent compared to 2019.
The government had imposed restrictions on domestic and international travel besides shutting schools and bars to control the pandemic which was first reported in the country on March 12.
Most of those measures have been removed starting July when the number of infections and deaths from the disease were declining.
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