Monday, September 10, 2007

Motoring moment: Schools, traffic jams & motor shows

motor show

The 2007 Total motor show was held at the Ngong racecourse over the weekend. Of late only the Concurs (classic car show) seems to run regularly, but it was great to have the motor show back after two years where we can always see the latest new vehicles and dream of buying them with Safaricom millions.
Nairobians can also look forward to the Nairobi air show to b held on October 7.

Who's here?: Heavy presence by American brands (hummer, Chevy, Cadillac, Chrysler, jeep), while also upcoming is India (Tata, Mahindra), and China (FAW and great wall)

Also present were several banks (NIC, CFC, Barclays, bank o Africa, and Consolidated) all offering vehicle purchase finance plans

who's missing?: some prominent British (Land rover), and German (BMW, Volkswagen/Audi) brands, and the Kenya Revenue Authority. It’s interesting (and sad) to realise how much tax is paid on new cards – as some car companies chose to display both the regular price and duty free price (which the government, embassies, or national of other countries - Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda etc. pay for the same car)

some prices

Chevy Optra 1.9m
Chrysler 300C 7 million (only 4.1 million duty free)
Mercedes E class 6.4 million [EUR 70k] (only 3.7 million duty free) [EUR 41k]

New Pajero 6.1m , older model Pajero 3.3 million,
Toyota Land Cruiser VX 9.7m (5.8m duty free), Land Cruiser Prado 5.2m (3.2 DF)
Jeep grand Cherokee 5.7m [$85k] (3.2m DF) [$49k]
Mercedes ML 8.5m (4.9m DF), GL class 11.8m (6.7m DF)
GH Humvee
Cadillac SPX

Mercedes Actros 3340 prime mover8.3 million (only 7.1 million duty free)
Mitsubishi Fuso prime mover 8.2m
Trailer by Randon 2.5m

actually have the same chassis as lorries, just the upper body is different
Tat school bus (62 seats) 4.9m
Nissan 51 seat (i.e. Citi Hoppa) 4.3m
Mitsubishi Fuso (51 seat) 2.8m
Nissan 67 seat 8m

Toyota Land Crusier4.8m (2.8m DF)

schools & traffic
last week has marked the beginning of third term for most schools kids – and the impact on rush hour traffic has mde bad traffic situation even worse – commutes have gone up by 30 min at least each way, and it is often faster to get off the matatu and walk passed a major intersection. The increase is from more passengers (school kids) on matatu's, more school buses on the road, but mostly from parents’ droppings kids off at far away schools across town before cutting back to the office

What would happen if parents were required to school their kids within a certain radius of their homes or offices? And the rule was given a 5 year grace period for investors (or teachers) to get funding (government loans) and other incentives lile land to create quality schools within neighbourhoods? What kind of impact would it have on traffic? There are negatives, but kids would be able to get to school/back home at a decent time (in daylight) or even walk. Parents would not have to make long commutes to quality schools for their kids, and the road would be much clearer even when schools are open. A wishful idea, but totally unenforcable


they finally got to me - halfway at least, almost a year and a half since the last known attempt. There may have been more attempt, but they were probably thwarted by round the clock security and other precautionary measures employed such as tipping night sentries and never straying from safe houses.

The perpetrators took advantage of a rare lapse in judgment and were swift, silent, and deadly in their attack.

The fateful moment came when I went to the bus station to pick up someone visiting the city. As is the case with many such visitors, they believe there is no food in Nairobi so they come armed with several sacks of fresh fruits and vegetables.
So for a few seconds I stepped out o the car (leaving it unarmed and exposed) to help my force the sacks into the boot – and for those few seconds, the car doors were open and the alarm was off.

As soon as I drove off I knew something was wrong – and sure enough when I stopped to check there was a huge hole where my indicator light used to be!

That’s one plague of driving very popular and very common Toyota is their parts are in great demand – much so that thieves are always ready to snatch your mirrors and lights to sell the last motorist who has lost his – and front indicator lights are a prized item that is likely to be stolen anytime.


Anonymous said...

the tax on moti's is astronomous thats why africa is poorer - taxes on cars are 100% and the price of cars is already 100% of the price overseas. - but people still buying cars goes to show that there is alot of money in kenya

coldtusker said...

And mutua the fool has the audacity to claim crime is down...

coldtusker said...

Check what happened to poor Odegle... you are lucky in comparison!

if only mutua or ali or michuki got clobbered by some thugs or had their cars stolen!

Of course, they drive government cars so what do they care?

alexcia said...

When will we learn?

We should start treating cars as an investment and a prerequisite for development

Anonymous said...

Bankelele please don't let people like coldtusker degrade this blog by using abusive language on people whom he does not agree with.Mutua is simply doing his job as any public relations person will do .

gishungwa said...

Traffic jams are a disgrace, have taken to reading since its easier especially now that in the morning it takes at least 45 mins to commute from South B to town. I miss school holidays already.

bankelele said...

coldtusker: my expereince wasn't that bad (and am suprised I lasted that long)
- best car to have is a GK merc

alexcia: cars are a prerequisite for many opportunities, which is why people buy them regardless of the tax

Gishungwa: It was a big differnce from all of August when traffic was a breeze (on some routes) now it's gridlock

Anonymous said...

The weird thing is, why does the Government tax new cars that much. Its the dumbest idea since getting consultants from abroad to build the Westlands roundabout. (Yeah that helped traffic???)

Anyway, we will NEVER compete or be considered a car manufacturing country unless we start multiplying like rats(hello China) and build our infrastructure to the point where we can support such like industries. So what industry are we actually protecting by this tax? Its like making new clothes soo expensive that we all have to wear mitumba.(Which isn't too far from reality). At least we have Rivatex and EPZ type industries in existence. But cars?? Come on.

That's why we'll always remain small minded. Cars arent a luxury. So why not have people buy more new cars than older cars by reducing tax on them so that they last longer and we are not the dumping ground for used products.
Almost like us exporting used tea bags...can work...just not as well as new ones and not for as long.

Oh wait...we might have to build more roads to drive them on or perhaps more regular people will afford to buy new cars. Wait that's like saying we might create a more equitable society and can be like MPs or have GKs or GK type cars.

Hmm...but then what will we be able to tell our lazy MPs from regular wananchi??

Oh I forgot...its Kenya. Where Ministers with degrees can't think more reasonably than kiosk owners. Because it makes more sense to use 800M to build Mbagathi Way for 5 years...but not the MSa-Malindi or Nakuru-Eldoret or Nakuru-Kisumu Hwys from which we make most of our money.

Oops I just answered my own questions.
My rant is over...sorry for taking up all this space and your time.

just what? said...

@ anonymous
last time i checked,vehicle importation tax is used to prevent dollars in kenya from bleeding away to japan,rather than protect an imaginary industry.

Anonymous said...

Just said? in my view

Doesn't it make sense assuming all things remain equal to sell 50,000 new toyotas a year and make 10 Billion from tax, than sell 10,000 new ones and 40,000 used(coz new are too expensive) and make that same 10 Billion?

By your reasoning, it makes more sense to have our kenyan dollars go to Dubai and Singapore...since that's where we get most of our 2nd hand cars?? Either way we still end up paying the same out coz 2nd hand cars are still taxed at the same rate either way.(A 2nd hand 3yr old ex-Singapore Toyota in Kenya costs the same as a brand new one abroad).

Wouldn't we rather get the best products at a reasonable price??
Its like saying I would rather not
pay 5K for a new Italian suit so that Italy doesn't get our tax $$ but instead pay 2K for a used one?? Huh?? Either way I'll still buy the suit. And mitumba is still taxed. So whose the loser in the end. GK perhaps even gets less tax coz mitumba is taxed less...we still buy the same thing...but one that is used.

Just my 2cts.


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