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Why Kenya Police stopped using Peugeot 504

How Peugeot 504 lost its glory in Kenya

Peugeot 504

The 1970s in Kenya witnessed a fascinating automotive landscape, with Peugeot cars emerging as unmistakable icons on the nation's roads.

Among these, the Peugeot 504 saloon ascended beyond mere transportation to attain near-cult status, garnering an almost magnetic allure for various segments of society. It was not just a car; it was a statement.

During this era, the Peugeot 504 saloon carved a niche for itself, becoming the preferred choice for a distinguished clientele that included military officers, high-ranking government officials, and other esteemed figures.

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Beyond its impressive features, the Peugeot 504 boasted a distinctive advantage in the Kenyan market, readily available spare parts.

This practical attribute contributed significantly to its enduring popularity.

Kenyan mechanics of that era had not only honed their skills but had also mastered the intricate art of repairing and maintaining the Peugeot 504.

Despite the police loving the brand, time marched on, and the Peugeot 504 began to show signs of vulnerability, rendering its reliability questionable, particularly for journeys into the Kenyan upcountry.

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The very dependability that had endeared it to many now faced a growing challenge as breakdowns became a looming concern.

Critics raised valid points regarding the Peugeot 504's lack of modern safety features, magnifying its shortcomings.

Absent were energy-absorbing crumple zones, traction control, stability control, and seat belt pretensions, elements that had become increasingly crucial for the evolving automotive landscape.

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Another emerging reality was that criminals had begun utilising Peugeot 504 vehicles, leading to a disconcerting challenge in distinguishing between law enforcement and wrongdoers.

The distinct lines that once separated the police from nefarious elements became increasingly blurred.

Its remarkable speed inadvertently made the Peugeot 504 a favoured choice among bank robbers, adding an unexpected layer of notoriety to its reputation.

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In Kenya, the police have embraced a fleet of Subaru, Volkswagen, and Toyota Land Cruiser pickups for their operational needs, prioritising their speed and efficiency.

Among these choices, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) shows a preference for Subaru Outbacks during their tasks.

Interestingly, there's a twist as the police have circled back to Peugeot vehicles, opting for modern Peugeot 508s, signifying a renewed embrace of the brand.

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