Remember that infamous automobile innovation from Laikipia County that was the butt of all jokes on social media last year? Well, if you do, the joke’s on you because the government is serious about mass producing the car for the international market.
Christened “Laikipia BJ 50”, the locally assembled 7-seater TukTuk was a big hit at the 2019 Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga, with the Laikipia County Government promising to work closely with Nyahururu-based, self-trained innovator, Samuel Gatonye Kimani alias Njogu.
At the time of the showcase in March last year, Mr Gatonye had already received a dozen orders for the Ksh450,000 car.
Over a year later, the government has announced a partnership with Sagak AutoTech to kickstart the process of mass-producing the car.
The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency announced the partnership with Sagak in a statement on Wednesday.
“Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency is collaborating with Laikipia County to assess the needs of up-scaling the Sagak Auto tech plant and build capacity to produce for the local, regional and international markets,” said the agency whose mission is to brand Kenya, export Kenyan products and build Kenya.
This comes barely a week after Ministry of Trade Cabinet Secretary, Betty Maina, officially opened the assembly line on Thursday, July 17.
The factory is based in Nyahururu, Laikipia County where all the assembly and production is done.
Ms Maina endorsed the car and said the Government would offer its support in production and marketing to stimulate the economy.