The Automotive industry in Kenya is primarily involved in the assembly, retail and distribution of motor vehicles. There are a number of motor vehicle dealers operating in the country.[1]

Local automotive companies

Mobius II

Kenya is currently attempting to completely build its own cars. After building its first car in the late 80's (the Nyayo Car), Kenya has a shot at the industry with Mobius Motors, which was founded in 2009. with KIBO Africa Limited, motorcycles have been rolling out from this local manufacturer.


Nyayo Pioneer (1990)

Nyayo Car was a project by the Kenyan government to plan and manufacture Kenyan cars.[2][3] The project was initiated in 1986 when then president Daniel arap Moi asked the University of Nairobi to develop the vehicles.[4][5]

Five prototypes were made, named Pioneer Nyayo Cars and they attained a speed of 120 km/h. The Nyayo Motor Corporation was established to mass-produce these cars. However, due to lack of funds, the car never entered into production.[6][7]

The Nyayo Motor Corporation was later renamed Numerical Machining Complex Limited, manufacturing metal parts for various local industries. The car became a synonym for the many white elephants that signified the government of the day.

Mobius Motors

Mobius Motors Kenya Ltd is a vehicle re-assembler founded in 2010. The company was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 2010 and registered in Kenya in 2011. As of 2018, the company was in the process of building an in country manufacturing plant.

The company manufactures SUVs (sport utility vehicles) that can handle the rough roads and rugged terrain found in many parts of the regional infrastructure.[8]


The established dealers face intense competition from imported second-hand vehicles, mainly from Japan and United Arab Emirates. Another issue is that there is more demand for second-hand vehicles rather than new ones because Kenya is generally a lower middle-income country. Thus, Mobius Motors was established to provide low cost cars at about KES. 1,100,000 (US$11,000).[9]

In the beginning of 2019, the Government of Kenya proposed to implement a National Automotive Policy which effectively would see an eventual ban on imports of second hand passenger and commercial vehicles. However, this was faced with stiff resistance from the used car industry with the government eventually having to suspend their push to change the regulations on 7 May 2019.[10]

Timeline of the Kenyan car industry

Nyayo Pioneer (1990)

Major retailers

Major assemblers

Future assemblers


  1. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "PwC Kenya: Industries: Automotive". PwC.
  2. ^ "From the Nyayo car to the Opibus, Kenya's motor innovation and manufacturing history". Global Voices. 2 February 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  3. ^ Evening Times. Evening Times.
  4. ^ Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence Journal-World.
  5. ^ Evening Times. Evening Times.
  6. ^ Reporter, Nairobian. "Why Nyayo motor cars project collapsed". Standard Entertainment. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  7. ^ "The Nyayo Pioneer: How Moi's dream of a Kenyan-made car flopped". Citizen Digital. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  8. ^ "The New Stripped-Down SUV That Will Change Transportation In Africa". Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  9. ^ "New model of Kenyan made vehicle Mobius to cost Sh1.3m". Business Daily. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Kenya Used Car Importation Age Changes Leading to Limitations of Car Imports into Kenya". Auto Kenya Ltd. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Volkswagen inaugurates vehicle production facility in Kenya". Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  12. ^ "More than half of new cars assembled in Kenya on lower taxes". 15 December 2020.
  13. ^ "First Kenyan made Volkswagen Polo Vivo unveiled". Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Peugeot starts assembly of cars at Thika factory". Business Daily. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Honda Worldwide – March 27, 2013 "Honda Establishes New Motorcycle Subsidiary in Kenya"". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015.
  16. ^ Honda sets up factory to make motorcycles. YouTube. 1 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Toyota drops bid to buy AVA". 15 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Ventures Africa – Toyota Launches $4.9m Assembly Plant In Kenya".
  19. ^ "TVS Makes A Foray Into Kenya – Overdrive".
  20. ^ TVS to begin motorcycle assembling plant in Kenya. YouTube. 30 July 2013.
  21. ^ Nyabiage, Jevans (15 May 2008). "Kenya: Tata to Set Up Local Bus Plant". The Nation (Nairobi). Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Tata draws up plans for Kenyan vehicle market | the Star". Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2022.