Category Archives: Total

The Total Motor Show 2011 in Nairobi

The Total Motor show took place this last weekend in Nairobi (Friday 9th to Sunday, September 11, 2011). It was interesting as usual, but this time it was at KICC unlike the last one that was at the Ngong Racecourse. With the weaker shilling, and higher petrol prices, there was a noted change in some vehicle prices and more companies offering more efficient vehicle management solutions.

Some notable moments:

Companies like CMC (Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen) and Toyota did not display prices, but it was a shock to hear that a Toyota Corolla 1.8, cost Kshs 3.3M ($36,000) which is about three times the price people pay for used import models.

Public Service Vehicles: Companies like General Motors have their Isuzu’s ready to ride on the Government’s plans for larger PSV vehicles and they had a pimped out matatu – the NPR that costs Kshs 4M ($43,000), and an Isuzu FRR model (Used by many Citi Hoppa’s operators and which costs Kshs 5.8M ($63,000) and a 62- seat bus that was Kshs 9.4M

Trucks: These were a plenty, but the trucking “king of the road” is the Mercedes Actros; new models of these can be bought via D.T. Dobie at a cost of €93,500 (~Kshs 12.2 million) and each order is customized to the buyer’s requirements before it is built. The popular Mitsubishi FH215 is Kshs. 5.1M

Luxury: Head to head in the luxury department were BMW (from Simba Colt) and perennial market leader Mercedes (from DT Dobie) who had a range of cars, priced with and without duty/tax (an option for diplomat’s, Government and NGO buyers). BMW had the X3 at €60,000 )Kshs 7.8M) while Mercedes had the ML350 for €110,000 (kshs 14.3M). BMW had the 3-series for €47,000 (~Kshs. 6.1M) while the C200 Mercedes was €60,000 (or €34,000 duty free), and BMW also had the 5-series on show for €60,000 while Mercedes had the E200 for €78,000 (~Kshs 10.1M) or duty free for €48,000 (~Kshs 6.25M)

Pick-Up/SUV: DT Dobie has the Nissan NP 200, launched at the 2009 motor show at Kshs 1.2 million, but which now costs Kshs 1.87 million and CMC had a new Volkswagen pickup that was not priced. Mitsubishi had an L200 double cab at Kshs 4.1 million, an update of the popular Pajero at Kshs 6.5 million, while Mahindra had pickups ranging between Kshs 2.4 – 2.9 million.

With rising fuel-prices, fuel saving solutions on offer include Stoic (touting to save up to 40% on fuel prices) and Fuel max (sold by Kiprin Enterprises – and enticing with savings of up to 50%). Other energy savers were Solar-powered lanterns called Total Sola from sponsor Total. Better driving solutions were offered by Glen Edmunds driving school for defensive driving while Scania had one for long distance truck drivers that are purported to save 6 litres per 100 kilometers driven (from the current average of 40 litres over 100 kilometers) and which also brings better tyre and break wear

Other: Toyota also sell Yamaha motor bikes including a 106CC model which comes with a free helmet, reflect jacket, registration and one year warranty (or 6,000 km)

Car Tracking: Companies included Rivercross tracking (who also install a fuel monitor that warns when truck drivers may be selling diesel from their trucks) as were other companies like Retriever, and Cyber Trace.

Online Classifieds: Car buyers and sellers had cheki and dealfish (which is free for buyers & sellers)

Banks: Banks in the auto finance sector were represented at the show including NIC, KCB, Equity, Imperial, Co-Op, Chase and CFCStanbic. Co-op have PSV financing (aimed at Sacco’s) and school bus financing (unique application requirement are board of governor approval and minutes, and ID, fees structure of school.

Apprentice: A motor show surprise was a twitter conversation with @karuoro and @mediamk on the prevalence of former D.T. Dobie mechanics who are specialists in Mercedes.

– @bankelele: I know about 3 garages run by ex-DT Dobie mechs (it’s like a badge of honour)
– @mediamk: those mechs are amazing, I wish this was the case across different industries (as) apprenticeship is a good way to grow an industry.
– @karuoro: “The industry leader is obliged to be a net supplier of talent to the industry” – Linus Gitahi (@LGTwits) …I think quite a number are licensees.

The D T Dobie apprenticeship mechanic program is open to all Kenyans, male & female, who are less than 22 years and obtained KCSE C+ in English physics and mathematics. Though subsidized it will cost Kshs 50,000 ($550)per year for three years after which staff will be bonded for 3 years. They also accept self-sponsored applicants who will pay Kshs 140,000, and the application deadline is 30 April 2012.

Total 2010 AGM

The annual general meeting of Total Kenya was held on June 2 at KICC Nairobi. (Excerpts from shareholder Q&A)

Hot Button issue was the Low Divided
– Board said DPS of 1/= ($0.12) per share down from traditional 2.50/= ($0.03) per share is the best they can do
– Why are you not paying dividend as high as rival Kenol? If rival Kenol is paying more, it is because they have not invested like Total (Note: today was also the day Kenol effected their second ever share split, giving their shareholders 10 new shares, for every one they owned)
– Buyout of Chevron by creation of new shares has diluted ordinary shareholder stake and dividend? true but this information was disclosed before the deal was approved and completed

Preference shares: – Since parent owns 83% why not re-classify minority shareholders as preference shareholders? the preference shares only participate in dividends and are non-voting
– When will class A shareholders who have been locked in be released to trade their shares? CMA finally granted approval and they have been free to trade from May 17 2010

Will Total bid for Shell assets? No they will not bid – various reasons cited include, its an international deal that covers 20 countries, they (and Shell) are already at about 30% market share in Kenya and can’t go higher (also cost)

High Working Capital: one shareholder noted the company traditionally carried high debtor levels, high stocks and high borrowings and called on the Board to be vigilant in collections, reduce stocks, and perhaps do a rights issue to rectify this. Chairman said they are vigilant with credit sales, and that inventory was currently higher as it was for the two individual companies (Chevron & Total), and that they will review the rights issue to see if it is relevant

Chevron stations: Which were bought in 2009 – and those not being sold onwards (as directed by Kenyan Government) will be-rebranded by year end, and there will be no loss of staff at either company

Goodies: umbrella, tote bag, t-shirt, lunch box (1/4 chicken, sausage, spring roll, beef sandwich, soda, and water

Past AGM’s in 2008 and 2009

Motoring Moment: Spare Parts and Bad Driving

Bad Driving today in Kenya, there is a matatu (public mini-bus) strike protesting at the new crackdown by policemen for bribes, noise pollution etc. Matatu’s get blamed for a lot of the bad & dangerous driving behaviour on Kenya roads. This used to be the case, but the bad driving trend has passed on, and you’re just as likely to see over-lapping and traffic gridlock caused by small cars (especially taxis), buses, ministers & other government VIP’s – who all over-lap traffic and engage in other risky road behaviour.

Shell Quitting BBC reports Shell petroleum will quit operation in 20 African countries disposing of refineries, storage and product sales. In 2008 Shell had already left some 15 African countries, and rumoured suitors for their assets included Oil Libya Morocco Oil in Northern Africa and Engen in southern Africa. Here in Kenya @coldtusker reckons KenolKobil would be interested if they could line up enough funding. Total of France are likely to snap up some stations after taking over Chevron, and the government will likely arm-twist a fraction of the Shell assets to go to parastatal National Oil Corp of Kenya (NOCK)

Read on Cars: also got the latest issue of AUTOnews published by the Automobile Association of Kenyasome gems in it:

In another world cup opportunity pitch, the AA of Kenya ( is offering:
– Car Net a.k.a passport eliminates the hassle of lodging log-books or cash duty as you cross border points
International Driver License that allows Kenyans to drive across borders
– COMESA insurance that covers Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa

Also, (in the issue), did you know there are 9 Kinds of Spare Parts? I thought there were just two genuine and fake, but according to the AA the 9 are:

9. Off cuts – whole chunks of cars from accidents or scrap
8. Imported used parts (also scrap from cars shipped to Kenya in mixed load containers)
7. Stolen parts (from chop shops)
6. Reconditioned parts – salvaged parts which vendors claim to have re-conditioned and tested (likely an impossible task)
5. Salvage parts – taken piece by piece from wrecked cars
4. Counterfeit parts – illegal parts branded as genuine
3. Non-originals – independent brands which copy established brands
2. Original equipment (OE) parts – independent parts approved by manufacturers
1. Genuine parts – made by vehicle manufacturers, brand new & guaranteed with warranty

Cheap Bikes are Good Business: Toyota Kenya sells Yamaha motorbikes including the kazi ngumu which costs Kshs 99,000 (~$1,320) and comes with 1-year warranty, 2 free service schedules, free registration, and a free helmet. Elsewhere in the issue, the Toyota Marketing Manager says the arrival of cheap (Chinese) bikes are boosting their (Yamaha) sales, saying low-cost brands offered an entry point, but as the motorcycle market has become established they can afford higher quality machines and turn to Yamaha for superior reliability, durability and performance…we are not worried about used imports, they are not a bad thing, certainly there are anomalies in standards and much duty evasion, but mitumba is a way for people to get started, and as they flourish they will look for better and newer products

From Twitter – the classic @roomthinker: You can buy a Toyota Vitz in 2 configurations: 128MB and 256MB #AVitzIsNotACar
– @ArcherMishale: Overheard on FB: In addition to #ToyotaFeets #Feetsubishi #Legsus, Kenyans will also be on #KNEEsanPatrol! LOL!!

– @MwaiKibaki: Kenyans should not listen to radio traffic reports. There have been no traffic jams in Nairobi since January 2003

2009 Nairobi Motor Show

The 2009 Total Kenya Motorshow was held over the weekend. Since the last motor show was held in 2007, much has changed in the motor industry, mainly the global economic downturn, Kenya electoral violence and the dip in the fortunes of car manufacturers & dealers.

Who’s missing? Kenya Revenue Authority, CMC (Ford, Land & Range Rover Mazda, VW, Audi)

who’s here?

GM Kenya the Hummer is now old news in Kenya, and the highlight of their display was a dressed up a Chevy Optra. The 1800 cc car that costs Kshs 2.46M was outfitted with a Government of Kenya Flag and made for a very elegant slap in the face of Government Ministers who have resisted giving up their fuel-guzzling Mercedes limousines that costs 3X as much. NTV reports that the Government is buying over 100 new VW Passat’s, but it will be interesting to see if the top leaders will hand over their Mercedes cars, and what will happen to the fleet afterwards.

DT Dobie: had the new E-Class Mercedes which costs EUR74k (~Kshs 8M) while the smaller C-class Kompressor cost 6.2M and the new B class costs 4.7M. Also an icon of Kenya roads, the 1200 Datsun/Nissan pickup has finally been replaced with the NP200, a 1.6 litre pickup that cost 1.2M. They are big in trucking and the award-winning Actros was on show at a cost of about Kshs. 9.9M for new trucks, which can take a few weeks to order and deliver. Many local transporters import used Actros trucks from Europe at about ½ the cost. The dealers also sell the Chrysler 300 for $72,600 (~Kshs. 5.5M)

Toyota Kenya Toyota is the most popular car in Kenya, and they often advertise the slogan the car in front of you is always a Toyota They had the Land cruiser VX cost Kshs. 12M, but the diplomats, local NGO’s and donor groups can have it for 7.58M. Also, the popular Prado costs 5.6M, with the duty-free price is 3.74M and the hardworking Hilux double cab costs 3.69M, with a duty-free price of 2.45M

Simba Colt: the long-time dealers of Mitsubishi are now the new franchise holders for BMW of which they brought a whole range of cars; these included all diesel models of the 530D at 90,300 euros (~Kshs 9.3M) which is about 1.3m more than an E-class Mercedes favoured by the Kenya Government), X5 diesel for 100,000 euro (~10.9M) and vying for the title of new status symbol in Nairobi (currently held by range rover sport)is the (ugly?) X6 whose diesel version is 95,000 euro (~10.4M). The company also had the usual stock of Mitsubishi cars and trucks including the Fuso prime mover which costs 9.04M

Subaru: Had several cars including the Tribeca which Kshs. 6.8 million, and the 2009 Forester that costs Kshs 4.15M. Also, car owners can order Subaru spare parts by phone, pay for them by M-Pesa and have them delivered.

Dealers for Indian Car companies were there for Tata, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland. Mahindra got a bad reputation in Kenya many years ago when the police acquired some sub-standard used vehicles through political middlemen that did not last long, and that image is yet to be cleaned up. They had a double cab pickup for 2.45M. Tata had many trucks and vehicles on display, and sales guys said that the Nano will be available in two months in Kenya, at a cost of Kshs. 250,000 (~$3,300 after our hefty vehicle taxes)

Dealers for China Car companies were also present. These included Transafrica for the increasingly popular FAW, Nelion (whose Beiben truck closely resembles a Mercedes Actros) and Abson Motors. You see many Chinese trucks on the road these days, mostly working on government building projects being done by Chinese road construction companies. -FAW prime movers cost about 5.9M, and are increasingly popular with transport companies because of their manual features (not too heavy on the electronics, computerization of the Euro trucks), while the company also had a new pick up truck, the admiral, which costs 1.4M

Auto accessory companies these included lots of anti-theft/car tracking (rivercress, stoic) companies, fleet management (AFMS), driving schools (Automobile Association of Kenya, GlenEdmund), body-builders like Sai Raj who even fibreglass boats and bus builders KVM – who lamented the shortcuts that other bus (body) builders use in construction e.g. use of arc welding, which results in weak buses that are easily shredded in road accidents, leading to high casualties.

Also present in a big way was G4S – as the former security company has diversified into a whole range of services including fire fighting, ambulances, home fires safety (extinguishers blankets), training (fire safety), vehicle tracking, all to go along with their traditional 24-hour burglary response

Auto financiers present were several banks (KCB, NIC, Bank of Africa, Diamond Trust (best bank in asset finance), Stanbic) and car insurers Heritage, CIC and CFC Life (who all had very aggressive salespeople)

Related past Total motor shows from 2005 and 2007
Ref: Euro = 109 shillings, US dollar = 76 shillings, M=million kenya shillings

Total 2009 AGM

The 55th annual general meeting of Total Kenya was held on May 19 2009 at KICC and was presided over by company Chairman Herve Allibert
Easy registration took a minute. Total have introduced an electronic check-in, shareholders or their proxies show up with a bar code, which is scanned and they as they sign in


Erroneous publication: company secretary apologized for some omitting list of top shareholders and wrong agenda contained in the annual report; saying the printer gave out wrong copy.

Buyout of Chevron assets: in 2007 Chevron decided has divested from petrol stations in west and east Africa and Total is buying their stations in Kenya and Uganda. The chairman clarified that parent Total Group (pronounced Tota hutra -meh) is buying the assets and deal will be finalized in June 2009. Thereafter Total Kenya (78% owned by Total Group) will buy the assets from the Total Group. Total Kenya has obtained regulatory approvals in Kenya, is arranging financing for that deal, and the directors will call for a shareholders meeting in a few months to approve that deal.
In answering another shareholder, Chairman added that Total Group is not divesting from Africa; they know how to do business in Africa, work well here and will continue to invest here

Performance drop in fourth quarter: board member answered shareholder that it was true that Q4 performance was worse. He said it was a s a result of negative stock effect (oil bought at $140+ that was sold at lower prices), and company had to make provision of Kshs 171 million for a supplier (Triton?) who was paid, but failed to deliver products to the company. He added that Q1 of 09 was much improved as the company had received a payment of 150 million in refunds from the Kenya revenue authority (KRA), a feat, which the Chairman added, was very difficult to attain.

Increase in borrowing costs: this had gone up because of the price of fuel was up, while they also had to pay upfront for all taxes

Bio energy: the group does research and investment for that and deploys products such as bio-diesel now sold in Ethiopia

No women directors Chairman said company was aware of this mis-match. They were continuously seeking some women to join the board and also plan to have more women in all management levels of the company

Hot point I – Total’s Q&A format; instead of having shareholders stand and ask questions, Total have (for some years now) had shareholders write their questions down on notes which are then handed to the board table and the company secretary selects a few which to read. The directors were today accused of ignoring some questions, not answering other key questions properly (about the flat share price and lack of bonus shares), while altogether leaving shareholders and some directors in the dark . The Chairman said they would review the practice before next meeting. Another aspect of the meeting (the French Chairman called it a “general assembly” ) that was challenged was the time of the meeting 3 PM

Hot Point II – Goodies:
– Total still doesn’t get it; they always have buffet of meat bitings , today by San Valencia that is messy to serve with shareholders jostling to get some food before it’s finished. They should just serve lunch boxes.

– each shareholder got a tote bag, t-shirt and an umbrella. Some shareholders complained that they had not got their gift items (but somehow other shareholder had 3 or 4 umbrellas) – and the company secretary was asked to record their names and see if the company could have them delivered after the meeting