Chinese carmaker Foton now in Rwanda

Sunday February 4 2018

Dealers assess a Foton vehicle being assembled

Dealers assess a Foton vehicle being assembled at Associated vehicle assembly in Mombasa, Kenya. Foton Motors is expected to launch operations in Rwanda. FILE PHOTO | NATION 

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Chinese vehicle maker Foton Motors has entered the Rwandan market as part of a regional expansion drive to tap increasing opportunities in the automotive industry.

Foton is offering three models for the passenger market: The 52-seater Foton Luxury Bus, an 80-passenger commuter city bus and the Foton 32-seater bus.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed automotive manufacturer also unveiled light and heavy-duty trucks for the construction sector.

“We will be importing fully assembled vehicles directly from China for the Rwandan market” said Apple Sun, the general manager of Foton Motor Kenya ltd, at the unveiling of their brand at Kigali Convention Centre on January 26.

The company says it has sold 5,000 units in East Africa over the past five years, with Kenya leading in sales with 3,000 units.

Agakera Motors, which will be the distributor for the brand said Rwanda’s new vehicle market, which constituted 800 units in 2012 expanded by 20 per cent in 2017.

A regulated transport industry in the country offers opportunity for Foton to make big sales as city authorities and the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency seek to phase out small capacity public vehicles. The plan is to deploy bigger buses on city routes.