President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday launched the first fully locally assembled Proton Saga salon car at Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA), a subsidiary of Simba Corporation Limited.

Speaking during the launch at AVA in Miritini, Mombasa, Simba Corp Chairman Adil Popat expressed pride in the achievement at the fully locally owned motor vehicle assembler.

“We are extremely pleased to unveil the long-awaited locally assembled Proton Saga saloon car into the Kenyan market,” Popat said.

“The Proton Saga is competitively priced and will retail for around $10,000 + VAT, the Proton Saga has enhanced safety features, superb stability and braking performance, supreme style and eye-catching exteriors and interiors.  

“The Proton Saga also comes with a 5-year warranty, attractive financing options with some of our major bank partners in Kenya and an extensive aftersales network.” 

Uhuru Kenyatta at the Mombasa plant. PHOTO/COURTESY 

President Kenyatta lauded Simba Corp for their fete saying that it contributed to his Big Four Agenda which seeks to stimulate economic growth by creating jobs for Kenya’s youth.  

Kenyatta said this was the result of a conversation he had with car manufacturers in January and urged them to bring back local assembly of vehicles instead of importing ready cars.  

“We talked about this last year and Simba Corporation has worked on it and here we are launching the new Proton Saga, an affordable well-engineered saloon car into the Kenyan market,” the president said. 

Uhuru Kenyatta touring the AVA plant. PHOTO/COURTESY

Early this year, the president asked vehicle assemblers to set up a mutually agreeable framework that will ensure benefits enjoyed from tax incentives are passed on to consumers.  

With the Proton Saga, the Head of State said Kenya was at the brink of offering Kenyans a chance to own zero-mileage vehicles affordably compared to imported second-hand cars. 

Proton joins the growing list of globally renowned automotive brands that have opted to start assembling their vehicles locally.  

And Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho also lauded Simba Corporation and AVA on the launch saying establishment of the plant in Mombasa creates jobs for the youth in Mombasa County.  

“Being in the Proton Saga, driven by the president I am impressed by the car and commit as the Mombasa County to place an order for 30 or 40 units for the county to use” Joho said.  

Simba Corp, which is headquartered in Nairobi, was established in 1968 and has diversified into motor sales and service, hospitality, investment and financial services.