David Karangu – Augusta, Georgia


David Karangu - Augusta, Georgia

A very prominent Kenyan who has, by virtue of hard work and ambition, blazed a trail that will have many Kenyans panting as they try to catch up. Karangu is President and Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes Benz of Augusta and Fairway Ford of Augusta. Previously, he held progressively responsible positions with a variety of automotive companies. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Augusta Prep School, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Morgan State University. He was recently named to the Board of Directors for MCG Health Inc.

It is no small feat to be mentioned in the Black Enterprise Magazine’s top 100 black owned companies (in #41 in 2003 and #42 in 2004) but his car dealership has achieved that status. He has also been interviewed on CNN as one of the most prominent black businessmen in the US car market.

David Karangu, 38, owns Kenya Auto Enterprises, an Augusta-based company which holds the Mercedes Benz franchise. Augusta is the second-largest luxury car market in the state of Georgia after state capital Atlanta.

Karangu’s franchise operates under the name Kenya Auto Enterprises and employs over 100 people. Annual sales exceed $66 million (about Sh5 billion). His dealership is ranked 41 out of 100 in the US in a survey by Black Enterprise magazine. Kenya Auto Enterprises is also quoted in the Augusta Chronicle.

It can be traced back to his days at Morgan State University, Baltimore, in the 1980s when General Motors came scouting for talent and he Ford as a manager. In 1997, a Ford dealership was offered for sale and Karangu, then only 30, seized the opportunity.

The dealership was earning approximately $10 million (Sh740 million) in sales annually. By 2003, reports Black Enterprise magazine, earnings had shot up to around $72 million.

He has now acquired a new BMW/Subaru/Volkswagen dealership (March 2007) and divested his economy car businesses. His focus is now going to be on luxury cars.

Born in Atlanta in 1967, Karangu came to Kenya when he was about five, but went back to the US when he was 17. He enrolled for a marketing course at Morgan University where his father was teaching.

We salute you. Thank you for setting very high standards for us to aspire to.

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9 thoughts on “David Karangu – Augusta, Georgia

  1. I am a 15 year old boy and encouraged to see some of our own become successful on the international scene.This is very inspiring as I also want to own a car dealership one day.Kudos!

  2. Wanguni, Stop criticizing people for their great achievements.Am sure if you also work hard enough,you could achieve something and we shall be proud of you too. We should be grateful and encourage each other. By the way, before you criticize David, why don’t you do some research first and find out what he has done.I know David peronally and he is where he is due to hard work.Thank GOD for such people,they are such an inspiration to all of us especially our young people. Thanks David, you make all of us very proud as Kenyans!!!!

  3. i do not want to sound sour lakini: what has he done for other kenyans to help them succeed in diaspora or in kenya? can he boast of any one or himself. And by the way stop saying he is a kenyan he is not.
    HE IS AN AMERICAN OF KENYAN DESENT DUUUUH! HE WAS BORN IN ATL AND EDYCATED IN KENYA THAT DOES NOT MAKE HIM A KENYA DOES IT?

    • This is a site to celebrate the achievements of Kenyans. If we are looking to pull down their achievements and look down on them for any reason, you might want to go to other sites where there are many ready to join you.

      I think that it is long overdue and their stories can serve as an inspiration to others. I am sure he has done a lot for others. We can’t keep expecting handouts from people who are doing well when we ourselves are not trying.

      Also addresing the Kenyan issue. A Kenyan is one born to Kenyan parents, or, by some definitions, one born in Kenya. If we start rejecting Kenyans because they were born in another country, we will soon lose valuable mental resources and talents just because of technicalities. I am proud of the Kenyans who are willing to claim their country from wherever they are. Kudo’s to the Kenyans who are making a difference by daring to achieve and being proud to claim a land that is theirs!!

  4. Pingback: Mwangi Karangu, Baltimore, Maryland, passes away « Kenyan Jewels

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  8. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Stanley

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