Nairobi — Nissan Motor plans to start assembling vehicles in Kenya, bolstering government plans to develop a regional automotive-manufacturing hub in East Africa’s biggest economy. The Japanese vehicle maker is the latest to target Kenya after Volkswagen (VW), PSA Peugeot and CNH Industrial announced plans for assembly lines in the past 18 months. The facilities could cut new-vehicle costs to customers in some of the continent’s fastest growing economies, where vehicle ownership per thousand people is about a quarter of the global average. Outside of SA, there isn’t much automotive manufacturing on the continent because of challenges such as the volume of imported used cars, few vehicle-financing options and a patchy road network. Nissan will initially put together pick-up trucks from semi-knocked down kits (SKDs), if the government agrees to waive a 25% import tax, according to Jim Dando, director of Africa operations for Nissan. "We’re prepared to enter Kenya as an SKD assembler,"...

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