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Toyota Uganda canceled vehicle deliveries for April and May

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Motor vehicle dealer Toyota Uganda cancelled all its vehicles and spare parts deliveries to Uganda in April and May due to coronavirus disruptions.

Baisama Awori, the General Manager of leasing and rental division at the Namanve-based dealership said some of their vehicles were to come from South Africa but the country closed the port of Durban in March. This meant that they had to suspend shipments for both vehicles and spare parts.

Baisama said from April 1 to the end of May, the company received only one truck carrying six vehicles. This is because even trucks ferrying goods from the Mombasa Port in Kenya were affected with drivers spending weeks on the way waiting to be tested for coronavirus.

Baisama was speaking on Wednesday in a meeting organized by Absa Bank to discuss the leasing market during COVID-19. Toyota early this month reported a COVID-19 case at head office. It was closed temporarily for fumigation which slowed business.

The government has not published official figures in vehicle importation trends during April and May 2020. However, industry players say few dealers were able to bring in cars.

However, Baisama said President Yoweri Museveni’s calls on companies to donate new pick up trucks to help in COVID-19 response activities boosted their business.

Maria Namusoke, the managing director of the logistics company Mark H. Investments said the other than delays on the roads, the logistics sector remained working during COVID-19 shutdowns.

She said transportation of goods across the border stayed as vibrant as pre-COVID.

On whether logistics companies should acquire leases for vehicles, she said companies first do cash-flow analysis and make informed decisions. Those with contracts already, they can go ahead and lease vehicles.

Namusoke said her company will be ordering for 30 trucks for the business going forward.

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