After pausing for more than four decades after initially assembling its cars in Kenya, Volkswagen will now resume producing vehicles here by the end of the year (2016). The brand is planning to start CKD production of the Polo Vivo in the Kenyan city of Thika near Nairobi. This will be Volkswagen’s third production facility in Africa – besides the South African factory and a local production facility in Nigeria. The goal is to produce up to 5,000 units of the Polo Vivo per year at the Kenyan site starting in 2017.
According to Volkswagen – “in addition to production of the Polo Vivo from the end of 2016 it is also planned to establish a local training center to qualify production workers and to provide further training. The center will initially focus on the needs of the Volkswagen production team and will later plan to provide basic training for young people to learn general industrial skills, thereby increasing employment opportunities in the region in general.”
Kenya is one of Africa’s growing emerging markets and a prominent member of East African Community (EAC) with an approximate GDP of US$ 63 billion.