The Cooper Motor Corporation, also known as CMC Motors Group Limited, is the fifth-largest importer of vehicles and fifth-largest car-assembly company in Kenya, the largest economy in the East African Community.
CMC was incorporated as a private limited company in July 1948 when Mr Allen and Mr Cooper came to East Africa to sell Land Rovers. With an authorized share capital of 10,000 Pounds Sterling and a total staff of two, trading commenced in borrowed offices in a wooden hut along the then Jackson Road and in 1952 moved to Connaught House. In 1956 Cooper Motor Corporation was converted from a private company to a public company which provided vehicle sales, parts, service and administration under one roof.
Over the years the Volkswagen, Audi, Nissan Diesel, Nash, Marine crafts and Evinrude outboard engine franchises were added. The VW Beetle proved itself a star particularly after winning the East African Safari Rally four times. The introduction of the VW Microbus also proved successful and played an important role in revolutionizing transport in the tourist industry. During the 60's and 70's CMC acquired a number of companies one of which was the Wilken Group which later became CMC Aviation Limited.
Perhaps one of the most significant takeovers in CMC's history was that of Benbros Motors in 1973. With Benbros came the British Leyland passenger cars and medium commercial vehicle franchises. This together with the substantial property between Bunyala and Lusaka Roads gave CMC the ideal location and allowed development of the site into the outstanding complex it is today. During this period the company was under the leadership of Mr J. Benzimra until his retirement in 1985.
In 1971, CMC restructured itself into CMC Holdings Limited, the holding company for the group. CMC's involvement in vehicle assembly started in 1974 after the conclusion of lengthy negotiations with Leyland Kenya, now KVM, when they acquired a 33 percent shareholding. In 1981 CMC bought McKenzie Dalgety's shares in Hughes Limited and took over the Ford and Mazda franchises. Today, CMC has grown to become one of Kenya's largest and most respected automotive distributors within East Africa.