In recent times, attempts at rolling out made-in-Nigeria cars have been yielding positive results. This is coming years after the botched 90% made-in-Nigeria car — the Z-600, invented by Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu in the 90s.
Today’s made-in-Nigeria cars, though international brands, are so described because at least 50% of their components are manufactured right here in Nigeria with raw materials also sourced in Nigeria. The local components are coupled with imported parts to make the Nigerian cars. This development is different from merely assembling cars or wholly importing them into Nigeria.
Because a large portion of their components are locally sourced, made-in-Nigeria cars are cheaper than completely knocked down (CKD) and wholly imported cars. With the active collaboration of oversea car brand owners, the local parts are manufactured to international standards and the overall production of the cars is done to the world’s highest automotive operating benchmarks.
The concept of made-in-Nigeria cars, therefore, is making standard, good quality and elegant vehicles available at local (low) prices. Benefits accruing to the country, apart from making new cars available at low prices are provision of employment and development of the nation’s economy.
At the forefront of producing made-in Nigeria cars are The Stallion Group (using the old Volkswagen Plant), Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, and Peugeot Automobile Nigeria. While many other motor companies have indicated their interest, these three companies have started rolling out made-in-Nigeria cars and those interested in buying the cars can get them from any of the companies’ branches, showrooms and dealers nationwide.
Innoson Motors produces Fox Sedan and Amazon brand of cars. The prices range from N1.5million to N3.5million.
The Stallion Group in collaboration with Nissan Motors of Japan on the one hand produces Almera P300 and Nissan Patrol while on the other, it collaborates with Hyundai to produce Hyundai i10, Grand, Xcent, Elantra and iX35 at prices between N1.5m and N1.9m each.
Peugeot Automobile Nigeria produces Peugeot 301 with Peugeot 408 and Peugeot 508 expected in early 2015.
Kia Motors Nigeria has started rolling out made-in-Nigeria Rio, Cerato and Optima with the Rio going for below N1.98m.
Owning a new car is desirable. This is because a new car operates hassle-free for a couple of years, to start with. Maintenance and management of a new car can be done to one’s taste to ensure a prolonged life and good second hand value for the car.
However, in spite of the lower prices made possible by the made-in-Nigeria cars, putting over one million naira at once on a car may not be easy for many who desire a new car.
To bring these cars within reach, virtually all the commercial banks in the country offer car loans to eligible customers. Eligibility criteria include a regular source of income (to be verified by the bank), an account with the lending bank, and availability of some deposit by the customer.
Financing from banks is available for workers, transporters and other businessmen. In view of the advantages of owning a new car, it is worthwhile to take advantage of a bank loan.