NAIROBI, March 1 (Reuters) - The number of new vehicles sold in Kenya dropped 15% in 2023, data from an industry association showed, as new taxes and a weaker currency curbed demand.

Although the East African nation's car market is dominated by used imports from Japan, it has been attracting investments from global car makers such as Volkswagen in recent years, buoyed by the government's attempts to boost local assembly of vehicles.

Individuals and businesses bought 11,370 units last year, the Kenya Motor Industry Association said in data seen by Reuters on Friday, down from 13,352 units sold in 2022.

The sales were affected by drought locally in the first quarter, which cut demand from farmers, and supply chain disruptions internationally due to a global shortage of semiconductors, said Isuzu East Africa, a leading car dealer.

The business was then hit by political protests in the second quarter, and new taxes that were introduced by the government in July, Isuzu said.

"High inflation and the depreciating shilling affected the prices of products and increased production costs," the company said.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Rashmi Aich)