, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Motor companies are urging the Kenya Counterfeit Authority of Kenya to step up its efforts in fighting bogus products in the country especially spare parts.
General Motors Chief Executive Rita Kavashe says 50 percent of all imported spare parts in the country are counterfeited putting motorists at risk.
“We are happy that the Counterfeit Authority has been set up, we are ready to work with them to make sure that counterfeit products are eliminated in the market,” she said pointing out that counterfeit spare parts can have fatal results for users and also prove costly to the economy.
She said the government is also losing millions of shilling in revenue.
Faulty used parts she said, are finding their way into the Kenyan market at an alarming rate.
Other issues affecting the industry include lack of quality after-sales-services that can also be used for consumer awareness of the menace of fake parts.
“We want to increase our focus on after sales services as demand for outstanding service is becoming a critical cost of operation and will become the most important thing that will determine sales,” she said.
She says the firm has already opened four dealer locations in the country with plans to extend their after sales services countrywide.
“The penetration of after sales is just 20 percent in Kenya. There is great opportunity for businesses to make money in the after sales business,” she added.
On her part Scania pre-Sales and Marketing Director Karin Radstrom says consumer education is key in eradicating counterfeit products in the country.
Radstrom highlighted clutches, windscreens filters are the major spare parts that are being counterfeited.
“Counterfeit products are cheaper hence consumers go for them, but in the end, they risk damaging your vehicle, quality products are more expensive but they live your vehicle in good condition, consumers are beginning to see this, we have seen an increase in our spare parts business that has gone up by 20 percent in 2014,” she said.
CMC Holdings Limited Group Chief Executive Officer Mark Kass is also raising concerns on the unchecked importation of used vehicles pointing out that it’s becoming problematic to the sector.
“Other issues affecting the industry are the weakening shilling and non-standardised tariffs across East Africa,” Kass says.
However, with the big infrastructure projects going on in the country that includes the standard Gauge Railway, Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET), the motor industry is expected to get a boost.