KENYA – German motor vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG has opened an office in Nairobi aiming to use it as an entry to East, Central and West Africa’s truck and bus market.

The Nairobi office will manage sales and customer service of both Mercedes-Benz and FUSO brands in 41 markets in the region — including Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Gabon and Chad.

Daimler executives said Tuesday they chose Nairobi because of its status as the regional business and transport hub. The multinational said its sales in the 41-country region stood at 5,900 units last year.

The firm is betting on sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth to further lift the sales volumes.

Daimler has the biggest market share in Kenya’s heavy commercial trucks business, selling about 500 units of Mercedes Actros prime movers last year.

The Daimler Commercial Vehicles Regional Centre, the second after a similar one was opened in Dubai last year, adds to the multinational’s local presence where it already has dealership contracts with DT Dobie (Mercedes) and Simba Corporation (Mitsubishi Fuso trucks).

 “Our new regional office will bring us even closer to our commercial vehicle customers and their needs,” said Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, a director of Daimler AG responsible for trucks and buses Tuesday.

 “It will allow us to benefit further from the growth potential of this region in the sales and customer service business. Today’s (Tuesday’s) opening in Nairobi, therefore, represents a win-win situation for Daimler, our business partners and the entire region.”

The Nairobi office is part of Daimler’s strategy of expanding its presence globally through regional branches that strengthen existing dealerships besides scouting for new business opportunities.

The company opened its first regional commercial vehicles office in Dubai in October last year to support 19 countries, including Morocco and Pakistan.

Daimler is set to open another regional office in Pretoria, South Africa, later this week, with other bases to follow in South Asia, southeast Asia and Latin America in the coming months.

The regional offices mark a decentralisation of Daimler’s global operations.

The multinational previously managed the regions from its headquarters in Stuttgart.

 “Further decentralisation will keep the business even more in tune with the market. The many years of product and service-related expertise pay off in this respect just as much as the broad portfolio of products offered by the group’s various commercial vehicles brands,” the company said in a statement.

February 9, 2016;