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Innoson: Nnewi plant is active, we’re committed to producing top quality vehicles

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Innoson: Nnewi plant is active, we’re committed to producing top quality vehicles

 

Nigeria’s first indigenous auto plant, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd (IVM), based in Nnewi, Anambra State, has restated its commitment to continuous investment in the production of top quality vehicles for the Nigerian market and other African countries.

The company also said that rather than soft-pedal on this vision, it had in the past few years upscaled its production technology, in addition to embarking on a plant expansion and establishment of a new production facility in Nsukka, and CNG conversion factory in Owerri.

The Innoson management was reacting to a recent publication in a national daily which claimed that all the auto assembly plants in Nigeria are in ruins, and that about N500 billion investment made since the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) took effect in 2014 had not made any impact on the industry.

A press statement by the Head of Communications at Innoson Vehicles, Mr. Cornel Osigwe, said, ”Since our plant commenced vehicle manufacturing more than 13 years ago with a pledge to keep providing affordable vehicles to Nigerians without compromising on quality, we have gone beyond the initial mini buses and pick-ups, to add different models of sedans, SUVs, family vehicles, fire trucks, as well as city and inter-city buses of various sizes.

“We are always busy manufacturing these vehicles based on the demands from the government and the private sector.

“We also feel the pulse of users of our vehicles as well as the market generally, and the feedback so obtained helps us to enhance the quality of our products. It also helps us to determine what the market needs.

“About two years ago, we made history by becoming the first, and so far the only manufacturer of CNG/LNG-powered vehicles in Nigeria, for which we have earned many recognitions, including awards from The Sun Publishing, Silverbird and the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA), all in 2023.

“Moreover, the presentation of Quality Management Certificate and the MANCAP Certificate by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to Innoson in 2023 is a confirmation of our adherence to high international quality standards in the manufacture of our range of vehicles.

“So, with all these production activities and sustained investments, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co, Nnewi, cannot be described as an assembly plant in ruins.”

The firm further disclosed that it upgraded its factory operations from manual production to semi-automation, and then to standard automation, resulting in the production capacity, increasing from 10,000 vehicles to 60,000 vehicles per annum.

“In line with the foresight of its Chairman, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, CON, Innoson Vehicles has embarked on an ambitious multi-billion naira plant expansion project at Umuezena part of Umudim, Nnewi, which when completed in the next couple of months, will be dedicated to the manufacture of a wide range of the CNG/LNG-powered vehicles and heavy duty trucks.

“Innoson is also investing in the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) where it is partnering with the institution to establish a plant that will be manufacturing units of 20HP Agricultural Tractor with the brand name Lion IVM,” it stated.

It also said, “Apart from the Umuezena and UNN projects, Innoson Vehicles is currently setting up an IVM CNG conversion centre at Naze, Owerri, Imo State.

“The state-of-the-art facility is for the conversion and retrofitting of fuel/diesel powered vehicles to CNG/LNG powered vehicles.”

The statement also gave insight into the company’s partnership with the Military, saying, “Innoson Vehicles has been collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force for the development and promotion of joint activities to sustain the maintenance of the Nigerian Air Force Air Asset and other associated Aerospace Ground Equipment, AGE.

“We are equally in partnership with the Nigerian Army for the modification of some of its equipment, local production of armoured fighting and utility vehicles.

“Recall that the Nnewi auto plant has in the past few years exported IVM vehicles to some African countries, including Sierra Leone, Niger, Congo, Ghana, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

“This has culminated in the company concluding plans with the government of Sierra Leone to establish an assembly plant in Freetown.

“Innoson Vehicles is on a mission to be a giant vehicle manufacturing company in Africa in order to serve Africa vehicle needs by its current expansion efforts.

“The range of products from the stable of IVM are affordable and within the reach of the Nigerian investing public who are in the transportation business, corporate organisations, government and its agencies at various levels, as well as individuals who desire the products, satisfactory service and exciting driving experience.”

The company, however, disclosed that there had been challenges in the industry which the founder, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, was hopeful the Federal Government would earnestly address through the new Automotive Policy.

Part of the statement also read, “The Innoson Group founder has since applauded the recent efforts by the Minister of Industry Trade & Investments Minister, Dr. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, and the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Joseph Osanipin, towards effective implementation of the new Automotive Policy (NAIDP 2023).

“The recent inauguration of the NAIDP 2023 implementation committee in Abuja is a testament to the Federal Government’s commitment to making the new policy work.

“We are hopeful the new policy will be well implemented, and we support the efforts being made by the government and the NADDC in that direction.”

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Corps Marshal, NADDC DG lead discussions at 10th Nigeria Transport Lecture 

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Corps Marshal, NADDC DG lead discussions at 10th Nigeria Transport Lecture 

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mr. Dauda Ali Biu, and the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Joseph Osanipin, will lead other major players to attend the 10th Nigeria Transport Lecture holding in Lagos on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Already, Biu and Osanipin have confirmed to be part of the event.

Transportation safety will be the focus of discussions as industry players gather at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos.

Organized by Transport Day Media (www.transportday.com.ng), the theme of this year’s edition, which is ‘Transportation Safety in Nigeria: The Way Forward’, is meant to discuss issues about transport safety in Nigeria.

The discourse, which will involve industry participants from both the public and private sectors, will x-ray transport safety cutting across all modes of transportation in Nigeria.

Also expected at the lecture are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), among others.

The Editor-in-Chief of Transport Day Media, Mr. Frank Kintum, stated that the topic is relevant in contemporary times because many lives and property had been lost to lack of adherence to safety measures in all modes of transportation.

He said, “Irrespective of the level of infrastructural development in the transportation sector, if safety is not promoted, we are going to continue to record loss of lives and valuable property.

“Hence, the lecture is meant to address pertinent issues concerning the industry as it concerns our local Nigerian setting.

“Aside from the lecture, we are also going to use the opportunity to recognize some players, both public and private sectors, who have significantly contributed to the growth of the sector and contributed to the economy in general.”

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Cash rain at Toyota Awards as Nestle, Zenith, Roxcon win big (+ photos)

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Cash rain at Toyota Awards as Nestle, Zenith, Roxcon win big (+photos)

Toyota (Nigeria) Limited (TNL) on Friday, May 17, 2024, named Nestle Nigeria Plc as winner of its prestigious Evergreen Customer Award for the Year (2023).

The company emerged winner among the teeming Toyota customers, having purchased the highest cumulative number of new Toyota vehicles consistently within a five-year period (2019 – 2023) from the TNL accredited dealers.

As the Evergreen customer, Nestle was rewarded with office equipment worth about N10 million, which was announced by the Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, at a well attended ceremony held in Lagos to celebrate the customers.

Nestle also won the Best Customer of the Year award, being the customer with the highest purchase of Toyota vehicles from the TNL dealers in 2023. It also went home with a cash award of N5 million.

Roxcon Nigeria Limited and Zenith International Bank received N3 million and N2 million respectively for emerging first runner-up and second runner-up in the 2023 TNL customers purchase assessment.

Ade.Ojo congratulated the winners and thanked them for their loyalty to the Toyota brand and Toyota (Nigeria) Limited’s superior quality products and after-sale support.

Even as he urged others to take a cue from the winners, he announced that next year’s winner of the biggest award, the Evergreen, would go home with a brand new Toyota vehicle.

The Managing Director of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, in his address at the event, spoke on the big idea behind the annual awards.

He said, “At Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, the philosophy of ‘Customer First’ remains the focal point of all our activities. Therefore, at every opportunity, we like to recognize and acknowledge our customers’ overwhelming love and support for us, which has been our driving force over the years.

“Your unwavering patronage of the Toyota brand and unshaken loyalty to it have been awesome.”

The MD said that the company had consistently held the awards every year since the inaugural edition in 2005 but only suspended it during the COVID period.

“We thank you for staying with us throughout the difficulties brought about by the pandemic,” he added.

Notwithstanding the economic challenges confronting business organisations in Nigeria, Ade-Ojo expressed the determination of the TNL team “to maintain our culture of providing superior quality products and services to our esteemed customers.

“We will continue to avail you of models that meet your specific needs supported by robust after-sale services.”

He commended the vision of the company’s Chairman, Chief M. Ade.Ojo, affectionately called Mr. Toyota, whose foresight and tenacity, he said, had changed the face of the automobile industry in Nigeria.

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150 OEMs, others set for Lagos motor fair, Africa autoparts expo

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150 OEMs, others set for Lagos motor fair, Africa autoparts expo

Arrangements have been concluded for the hosting of the 18th edition of the Lagos Motor Fair and 11th Africa Autoparts Expo in Lagos.

BKG Exhibitions Limited, organisers of the annual event, stated this, adding that it would be a bumper package as 50 Original Engine Manufacturers (OEMs) from different parts of the world had confirmed their participation at the fair.

Chairman of the organising committee for the show, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, said at a press briefing in Lagos that the event is scheduled to hold on June 4-7, 2024 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island.

Agwu, who is also BKG managing director, declared, “Over 150 confirmed Original Equipment Manufacturers from all over the world are already preparing to be at the show.

“From the financial sector, auto financing and acquisition facilities and schemes shall be on display at the various stands of the firms from the sector.

“Those interested in enjoying the synergy existing between the automobile industry and the Insurance sector will get the best and latest from reputable Insurance Companies at the fair arena.

“Some of the automobile dealers will showcase their own in-house finance/ acquisition schemes.”

He said almost all the major vehicle manufacturers and dealers in Nigeria would be participating at the fair.

Notable banks and insurance companies, major oil companies; manufacturers and dealers in auto spare parts and accessories have booked to participate in the event, he added.

There will also a conference/workshop session featuring germaine industry issues and key stakeholders.

Agwu said, “The aim of this segment is to inform, educate and contribute to policy decisions and implementation in the sector.”

“The fair will be a landmark and a benchmark in auto show business in the entire West African subregion as the all-inclusive event has been packaged to ensure that all stakeholders have a rewarding experience.

“Each of the days that the fair will last is loaded with activities and events that will make this edition remarkably different and we intend to improve and add on this in subsequent editions,” he said.

Visitors can also update their knowledge about Fleet Management from experts in the field that would be on the ground at the fair.

He also said, “We have carefully put in place a lot of crowd-pulling activities all geared toward driving much traffic into the fair. “These include but are not limited to performances by popular artists, cultural and fashion displays, models/automobile parades and a roadshow.”

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