DT Dobie has ramped up the production of public transport industry vehicles in a move expected to rival Isuzu East Africa’s supremacy of the sector.
According to a report by the Business Daily, the firm is looking to produce an additional fifty buses by June 2019 to add onto the thirty buses that the firm has already dispatched into the Kenyan market.
Alexander Helfritz; DT Dobie’s Sales and Marketing Director, attributed the move to the shifting requirements of the market.
“Our interest in the local public transport businesses is inspired by the idea of bringing change into the market. We come with a promise of safe and comfortable travel for the passengers and fuel efficiency and reliability to fleet owners,” Mr. Helfritz is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.
Similarly, Mr. Helfritz reiterated that the vehicles are assembled depending on the customer’s requirements with heavy capacity vehicles only being churned out upon the customer’s request.
“Depending on the needs of the customer, they can have a body built to accommodate a specific number of passengers. The MB 917 model can be built to carry 33 or 41 passengers and the MB1730 bus can be tailored to carry 44, 48 or 67 passengers,” Mr Helfritz explained in the Business Daily report.
The dealer’s undertaking into the space comes as the government plans to get rid of 14-seater matatus in favour of PSVs carrying 25 people and above in the wake of the much-hyped Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
At the start of 2018, the government announced that it would opt for BRT systems borrowed from Colombia’s bus rapid transit model in Bogota to support its rickety public commuter services and ease congestion in a plan that will see creation of special lanes dedicated to more efficient buses.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) has already mapped out a lane dedicated for the buses on Thika Superhighway that is awaiting the arrival of 100 high capacity buses that the government is planning to import from South Africa after Isuzu East Africa made BRT buses were recalled in late 2018 for not meeting specifications stipulated by the Ministry of Transport and NAMATA.