Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA), the leading motor vehicle assembler in East Africa, has inaugurated its cutting-edge Electro-Deposition Paint Plant in Nairobi. The plant, which utilizes the Electro-Deposition (ED) method, represents a significant leap forward in technological advancements for the regional automotive industry. The ED method employs electric current to ensure a uniform distribution of paint across the entire surface of a vehicle, resulting in an exceptionally smooth finish.
The launch event was graced by the presence of Kenya’s President, H.E William Samoei Ruto, who commended Isuzu EA for its dedication to advancing the manufacturing sector in the country. He acknowledged the significance of the Electro-Deposition Paint Plant as a crucial component of Isuzu EA’s efforts to enhance manufacturing operations and boost local vehicle production to compete on a global scale. President Ruto also reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the growth of the automotive industry and creating a favorable business environment.
The establishment of the Electro-Deposition Paint Plant sets a new standard for automotive manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa, outside of South Africa. Its implementation signifies Isuzu EA’s commitment to positioning itself as a key player in the African Continental Free Trade Area and preparing for increased regional integration. The plant has increased Isuzu EA’s production capacity by over 60%, from 11,000 vehicles to 18,000 vehicles annually. This substantial boost in capacity will help meet the rising demand for vehicles in Kenya and contribute to the overall development of the automotive industry in the country.
Rita Kavashe, the Managing Director of Isuzu EA, expressed her enthusiasm for the new paint plant and its potential impact on the industry. She emphasized that the plant would not only benefit Isuzu but also be available to other auto manufacturers, including motorcycle and three-wheeler assemblers. This move is expected to further enhance the local automotive sector and stimulate job creation.
Kavashe also acknowledged the role of various government initiatives, such as the vehicle leasing program, the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative, and revised assembly regulations, in driving the growth of the automotive industry. She praised the government’s efforts in creating a conducive investment climate and providing incentives for investors. Kavashe emphasized that the full implementation of the KS1515 Standard would be a game changer, doubling the production of commercial vehicles and generating thousands of additional jobs.
Over the past five years, Isuzu EA has made substantial investments in facility upgrades, including the Electro-Deposition Paint Plant, amounting to a total investment of Kshs. 3 billion. These investments reflect Isuzu EA’s commitment to positioning itself as a key player in the African Continental Free Trade Area and preparing for increased regional integration.
President Ruto, in his address, commended Isuzu EA for incorporating advanced technologies into local vehicle production. He acknowledged the challenges faced by the sector in the past, including policy uncertainty, high production costs, and a shortage of skilled personnel. However, he emphasized the government’s efforts to address these challenges through the implementation of the National Automotive Policy, assembly regulations, tax procedures, and the promotion of local content development.
President Ruto reiterated the government’s vision to transform Kenya’s economy and increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the national GDP to 20% by 2030. He expressed confidence that Isuzu EA’s investments and expansion projects would propel Kenya towards becoming a hub for automotive competitiveness in the African Continental Free Trade Area. He cited successful examples from countries like South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt and envisioned Kenya as a leading vehicle manufacturer in Africa.
The launch of Isuzu East Africa’s Electro-Deposition Paint Plant marks a significant milestone in the development of the local automotive industry. The state-of-the-art facility, combined with government support and favourable policies, is expected to attract further investments, create employment opportunities, and position Kenya as a major player in the regional automotive sector. Isuzu EA’s commitment to innovation and technological advancement is driving the country’s automotive industry towards a brighter and more prosperous future.