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Toyota car imports unaffected by Tsunami

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Toyota East Africa says its importation of new cars into the country will not be affected by recent Tsunami that rocked Japan early Friday morning.

Toyota East Africa’s Managing Director, Hylton Bannon said although the parent company has halted the domestic production of new cars in Japan, it still has enough stocks for exports.

Speaking to Capital Business, the MD also downplayed the impact of the catastrophe on the business.

“Our first concern is the safety of everyone in Japan. Obviously production has been affected at the moment. Japanese domestic production has been halted. The export production is still ongoing. At the moment it’s ok, in the next two days we will know more,” Mr Bannon said.

“Globally, it will still be fine. Obviously there will be a period of consolidation. But globally I don’t believe the Tsunami will have a big effect on production.”

Despite this setback, Mr Bannon said the company is forecasting to sell an estimated 12,000 units this year if conditions stay favourable.

“Last year we achieved 23 percent market share, and the year before it was around the same level. We saw 11,000 units’ new car sales in 2010, we are predicting it will go to about 12,000 units in 2011. That’s given that the economic conditions carry on as positively as they have been in the country and it looks like there is a recovery starting which is very good,” he added.

A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook Japan on Friday, unleashing a powerful Tsunami that sent ships crashing into the shore and carried cars through the streets of coastal towns.

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