The 2007 Total motor show was held at the Ngong racecourse over the weekend. Of late only the Concours (classic car show) seems to run regularly, but it was great to have the motor show back after two years where we can always see the latest new vehicles and dream of buying them with Safaricom millions. Nairobians can also look forward to the Nairobi air show to be held on October 7.
Also present were several banks (NIC, CFC, Barclays, bank o Africa, and Consolidated) all offering vehicle purchase finance plans.
Who’s missing?: Some prominent British (Land Rover), and German (BMW, Volkswagen / Audi) brands, and the Kenya Revenue Authority. It’s interesting (and sad) to realise how much tax is paid on new cars – as some car companies chose to display both the regular price and duty-free price (which the government, embassies, or national of other countries – Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda etc. pay for the same car).
Chevy Optra 1.9m
Chrysler 300C 7 million (only 4.1 million duty-free)
Mercedes E class 6.4 million [EUR 70k] (only 3.7 million duty free) [EUR 41k]
New Pajero 6.1m , older model Pajero 3.3 million,
Toyota Land Cruiser VX 9.7m (5.8m duty-free), Land Cruiser Prado 5.2m (3.2 DF)
Jeep grand Cherokee 5.7m [$85k] (3.2m DF) [$49k]
Mercedes ML 8.5m (4.9m DF), GL class 11.8m (6.7m DF)
Mercedes Actros 3340 prime mover8.3 million (only 7.1 million duty-free)
Mitsubishi Fuso prime mover 8.2m
Trailer by Randon 2.5m
actually have the same chassis as lorries, just the upper body is different
Tata school bus (62 seats) 4.9m
Nissan 51 seat (i.e. Citi Hoppa) 4.3m
Mitsubishi Fuso (51 seat) 2.8m
Nissan 67 seat 8m
Toyota Land Crusier4.8m (2.8m DF)
Schools & Traffic
Last week has marked the beginning of the third term for most schools kids – and the impact on rush hour traffic has made a bad traffic situation even worse – commutes have gone up by 30 min at least each way, and it is often faster to get off the matatu and walk passed a major intersection. The increase is from more passengers (school kids) on matatu’s, more school buses on the road, but mostly from parents’ droppings kids off at far away schools across town before cutting back to the office
What would happen if parents were required to school their kids within a certain radius of their homes or offices? And the rule was given a 5-year grace period for investors (or teachers) to get funding (government loans) and other incentives like land to create quality schools within neighbourhoods? What kind of impact would it have on traffic? There are negatives, but kids would be able to get to school/back home at a decent time (in daylight) or even walk. Parents would not have to make long commutes to quality schools for their kids, and the road would be much clearer even when schools are open. A wishful idea, but totally unenforceable.
They finally got to me – halfway at least, almost a year and a half since the last known attempt. There may have been more attempt, but they were probably thwarted by round the clock security and other precautionary measures employed such as tipping night sentries and never straying from safe houses.
The perpetrators took advantage of a rare lapse in judgment and were swift, silent, and deadly in their attack.
The fateful moment came when I went to the bus station to pick up someone visiting the city. As is the case with many such visitors, they believe there is no food in Nairobi so they come armed with several sacks of fresh fruits and vegetables. So for a few seconds I stepped out of the car (leaving it unarmed and exposed) to help force the sacks into the boot – and for those few seconds, the car doors were open and the alarm was off.
As soon as I drove off I knew something was wrong – and sure enough when I stopped to check there was a huge hole where my indicator light used to be!
That’s one plague of driving very popular and very common Toyota is their parts are in great demand – much so that thieves are always ready to snatch your mirrors and lights to sell the last motorist who has lost his – and front indicator lights are a prized item that is likely to be stolen anytime.