Dealers of new luxury cars recorded a 65.5 percent sales slump in the first quarter that ended March on reduced orders for the brands including Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes.
The companies –Inchcape Kenya and DT Dobie— sold only 10 units in the review period, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI). This was down from 29 units the year before.
Sales of Mercedes by DT Dobie declined to three from 11. Orders for BMW and Range Rover models fell to two and one from 10 and six respectively. Only Land Rover sales registered sales growth to four from two.
The sellers of the high-end cars whose prices can top Sh30 million, posted a worse performance compared to the overall new vehicle market.
Sales in the entire formal vehicle industry dropped 13.9 percent to 2,758 units in the review period, signalling another drop for the sector which has raised prices in response to multiple challenges including the weakening of the shilling.
The dealers, including Isuzu East Africa, Simba Corp and Toyota East Africa, had sold 3,203 units in a similar quarter the year before.
Simba Corp whose brands include Proton and Mitsubishi registered the largest decline in sales among the major dealers at 26.8 percent to 248.
Isuzu orders declined 3.3 percent to 1,174. CFAO Motors, whose brands include Hino and Toyota, bucked the trend to grow its sales 2.9 percent to 793.
Sales in the industry have been hurt by factors such as high vehicle prices and rising interest rates.
Most vehicle purchases are financed by banks that have raised the cost of loans in recent months amid high inflation and monetary tightening by the Central Bank of Kenya.