In Summary
  • According to Sam Kaketo, a used car dealer in Katwe, Mazda has a very low resale value and spare parts are hard to come by.
  • Andrew Kasule, a dealer in used suspension parts in Kisekka Market knows about the troubled car maintenance procedures that Honda and Mazda drivers in Uganda have has to go through.

Japan is home to some of the world’s largest car companies such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Subaru.
Well Ugandans, love Japanese cars and they know about Toyota and how it rules markets across Africa.
Toyota has a line of brands that support its claim to market dominance and they all have plenty of good reasons for their dominance.
And because of these reasons, the market has responded well and subsequently increased a secondary market for spare parts and branding items. With Toyota, it is hard to fail to get a spare part. Toyota brands are notoriously reliable. They go on and on, even it the worst of conditions.

People who seek dependable and well-designed cars have found this in Toyota and found it easy in case there is need for any form of repairs.
According to Ivan Kyeyune, a mechanic on Rubaga Road, the dependability does not only favour owners, but also works for the mechanics because most of them find Toyota cars easy to work on without requiring much specialisation.

The dominance has not made it easy for other brands such as Mazda, Honda and Suzuki that had shown some form of competition in the early 90s.
“These are brands that are doing exceptionally well on the world stage but just not in Uganda. As you might know many car purchases are based on cost, resale value or availability on the market,” says Shafiq Kalumba, a car dealer at Coin in Nakawa. In the early 2000s Honda unveiled the Honda CR-V, which has been deemed a direct competition for Rav 4.
However, it had, according to Kalumba, a number of gremlins with hard to find and definitely expensive parts.
“Its resale value is awful and has found it hard on the Ugandan market yet it maintains a lead position on the global market,” he says.
However, many have found satisfaction in other brands such Honda Civics and Honda Fit.

On the other hand Mazda is a different story all together. Ugandans seem not to have fallen in love with the brand.
Mazda, according to Sam Kaketo, a used car dealer in Katwe, Kampala has a very low resale value and spare parts are hard to come by.
Perhaps this explains why Toyota has won over Uganda considering that it is reliable car and easy in terms of maintenance.
Andrew Kasule, a dealer in used suspension parts in Kisekka Market knows about the troubled car maintenance procedures that Honda and Mazda drivers in Uganda have has to go through.
Specifically, he talks about Honda CRV and Mazda Demio, which he says have a history of failing gear system.

Suzuki
Suzuki produced some of the most durable small bodied cars that were popular among Ugandans in the 80s and early 90s.
However, the car manufacturer continues to play fiddle to other car companies with some of its latest productions such Suzuki Escudo or Vitara and Suzuki Maruti.
Suzuki, just like Honda is a large motorcycle and car manufacturer and has mastered the art marketing their products.
Motorbikes such as Suzuki Hayabusa, the world’s fastest motorcycle, have cemented the company’s reputation for leading-edge performance yet its cars are less appreciated because they lack the divine spark that makes the company’s motorcycles so desirable.
Suzuki in Uganda, according to Sam Kaketo, a used car dealer in Katwe, Kampala, is not popular because of its low resale value and hard to find spare parts.
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