Local Car News #Update!
With the gradual industrialization taking place in Nigeria; the promotion of ‘made in Nigeria’ goods and the turn around in the decades’ long perception of local products, Nigerians have began to see themselves sitting on the table of economical excellence. One of the drastic effects of colonization was in the second fiddle and inferiority complex that developed in the conscious percept of Africans, we preferred foreign things and became apathetic towards our own locally made products. We started feeling inferior to the white man and had the mindset that everything he did was better than ours; his clothes, his food, his culture and everything else. This slowly developed and became an ingrained part of every African which is the major reason for the underdevelopment in most African countries as any country that is not self-dependent and industrialized cannot be economically developed. After colonization we are not free; still dependent and controlled by the whims and caprices of our colonial masters.
We are however grateful to God for recent developments, Nigerians and Africans at large are coming to a realization of themselves as we strive to upgrade our potential and power. We are not second fiddle, not inferior and deserve the best of everything. People are now locally producing goods and rendering services that were reserved for foreigners. Companies are starting, businesses are booming despite the harsh conditions and change is here. People now patronize local products because they can see they are really not inferior. New horizons have been reached; people in beauty and fashion, IT, manufacturing, business, media and entertainment and so many other areas. Clothes, shoes, bags, makeup products, and so many others are being made locally with world class standards. World class television stations are being established, world class movies and music videos as well as t.v shows are being produced. Everyday, new heights are being attained. What the world thought was impossible is now taking place and this is only just the beginning.
The focus of this article is to flash the beam on Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, the first indigenous vehicle manufacturing company in Africa. Oh yea! that’s right, we now have locally made cars in Nigeria. The brain behind this phenomenal upgrade is Mr. Innocent Chukwuma; born in 1961, started his sojourn into the business world in 1981. Chukwuma started selling spare parts with his brother but he noticed that tokunbo motorcycles were very rampant and people hardly bought new ones because they were expensive. As at 1987, a brand new motorcycle was sold for N150,000 and a tokunbo one sold for N90,000-N100,000. Things would have continued this way till date, but for the intervention of a 25 year old Nigerian, named Innocent Chukwuma, the founder of Innoson Motors (IVM). Driven by his passion for people and his core business philosophy of bringing down costs and passing the gain to customers, he pioneered the first Made-in-Nigeria Motorcycle brand that sold for as low as N60,000. By year 2002, he had successfully driven out tokunbo (foreign used) motorcycles out of Nigeria forever. After achieving that feat, he decided he will do the same for cars which led him to start manufacturing vehicles locally in Nigeria, precisely Nnewi, Anambra state eight years ago.
The company manufactures vehicles with 70% locally produced car parts while the rest are imported from Japan, China and Germany. They manufacture 45-seater buses, 35-seater, 33-seater, 26-seater buses, 22-seater and 18-seater types, cabin pick-ups, cars and SUVs. The company is patronized by state governments and the federal governments for their officials and renowned businessmen like Senator Ben Murray Bruce for their company official cars. They have a record of over 10,000 cars produced, a staff strength of over 7,000 people, and are present in 25 African countries and over 20 Nigerian states. They have four major vehicle models- IVM Omu, IVM Fox, IVM Carrier and IVM 5000 which they describe with the phrase “A Vehicle for Every Lifestyle”. Innoson motors describes itself as “The 1st Made-in-Africa automobile brand”. Their mission is “To eradicate tokunbo (foreign used) automobiles from Africa”, and their vision is “To become the pride of African roads i.e. Africa’s most preferred automobile brand”. The vehicles have been attested to by users to be of very good quality and not in any way inferior to their foreign counterparts. This is just the beginning for vehicle manufacturing in Nigeria.
Despite the fact that a lot of things are not working in Nigeria or things are not where we want them to be, we cannot help but talk about the good things that are happening. This shows how much hope is left for embrace in our dear country, things are not where we want them to be but they are certainly not where they used to be. This is our time of awakening, the sky is only the starting point.