Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In defence of Mahindra

Several years ago, the Government of Kenya was swindled when a politically connected group procured substandard Mahindra jeeps for the police force which did not run for very long.

Since then, Kenyans have had an unfavourable view about vehicles from India (Tata’s, tuk-tuks, scooters) and other third world countries such as Korea & China (which the government is reported to soon approach for army lorries).

This is unfortunate because Mahindra, Marutti, Tata, and other vehicles produced in these countries are more affordable and probably better suited for our harsh roads than the 8 years old used-Japanese cars that thousands of Kenyans buy every year (am guilty).

We need to get beyond the stereotype that if a vehicle is not European (or now Japanese) in origin, then it must be substandard. The police jeeps were part of a rip-off deal, but India has a wide variety of other vehicles, that if sourced legitimately - such as from local dealers of Tata and Marutti here in Nairobi - can be of great use to the country, and especially to Government departments who continue to waste their scarce resources on expensive fleets of European limousines.

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