Leading vehicle assembler Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA) has today unveiled the first locally assembled high capacity buses that are specifically designed for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in Kenya.
Speaking to transport sector stakeholders at their assembly plant on Mombasa Road, Isuzu EA Managing Director Rita Kavashe noted that the locally assembled buses are a demonstration to the Government, transport stakeholders and the public of Isuzu’s local capability and readiness in supporting implementation of the BRT system.
“For over 40 years, Isuzu has contributed immensely to the growth of the public transport sector in Kenya’s main urban centers. Today we take this a notch higher and unveil to you three locally assembled bus models to support the BRT system with a capacity for up to 100 passengers,” said Rita. “This is a clear demonstration of Isuzu’s local capability in supporting the implementation of BRT solutions for the country to help ease traffic congestion on our roads,” added Rita.
Rita similarly mentioned the need for Government and transport stakeholders to turn to local vehicle assembly companies in providing sustainable local solutions for the country’s transport needs.
“For a long time now, the local vehicle assembly sector has experienced slow growth due to an influx of imported second-hand vehicles. Through the assembly of these buses, we have shown our capability in terms of technical skills, resources and expertise to offer safer, reliable and efficient transport solutions,” said Rita.
Rita further explained that Isuzu EA will continue to engage with Government and other relevant stakeholders to seek innovative transport solutions for the country.
“This achievement was made possible through various partnerships with local stakeholders in the transport sector. Many thanks to our partners in the banking sector who have confirmed their financial support in the purchase of these buses and our accredited body builders,” added Rita.
Making his remarks at the unveil ceremony, Nairobi Bus Transporters Chairman Edwin Mukabana, expressed his delight on the achievement of a locally assembled BRT buses noting this will make the buses affordable and readily available.
“I am happy today to see a local assembly company being able to provide a local solution to our transport needs,” said Mr. Mukabana. “Importing fully built BRT buses for this market makes it expensive and difficult for PSV operators to purchase the vehicle. However, with locally assembled high capacity buses, the cost will significantly reduce and the buses will be available much faster for deployment,” added Mr. Mukabana.
The unveiling of the locally assembled high capacity buses comes at a time when the Government has sought to import BRT buses from South Africa as opposed to commissioning local vehicle assemblers. The three bus models unveiled were Isuzu FRR, designed for Feeder roads, the MV123 Stage coach, and the LV434 designed for Highways. These buses come with enhanced body structures compliant to the KS372 standards, greater road stability and speed limits of 60kph for passenger safety and comfort. The high capacity buses will have a carrying capacity ranging from 62 to 100 seating and standing passengers.
Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA) is the leading motor vehicle assembler in East Africa, selling a wide range of Isuzu vehicles. The company is starting out from a solid foundation established by the Isuzu brand’s automotive excellence over the last 40 years. The brand has attained strong leadership in this market, selling over 80,000 units since the first Isuzu vehicle rolled out of its Nairobi assembly plant in 1977.