Less than 3 years after the introduction of the automotive policy in Nigeria, the country has officially joined the ranks of others like Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya and is now recognized as a producer of affordable internationally acceptable automobiles.
In 2015 Africa was estimated to have bought 2 million new cars. Although less than 40 percent were manufactured locally, the purchase of Nigeria’s Innoson cars, SUVs and buses was reportedly part of this number.
Survey distributed by Carmudi Nigeria asking car buyers about their preference for made in Nigeria cars concluded that the challenge facing the sale of locally manufactured cars in Nigeria may be as a result of limited or lack of information about the vehicles as well as trust in the brand.
The survey showed that 45 percent of car buyers don’t know details about the various locally made cars available in Nigeria, 25 percent didn’t know enough to make a buying decision, 15 percent know about the brands and features but still hesitate when it comes to purchasing one mainly due to trust and 15 percent would like to buy or already drive made in Nigerian cars.
Other locally manufactured brands in Africa listed include Tunisia’s Wallyscar which started production in 2007 sold 600 units last year in Qatar, morocco, France, Spain and Panama.
Ghana’s Kantanka pickup manufactured by Katanka Automobile Company located in Gomoa Mpota in the central region of Ghana is enjoying recognition in Africa’s automobile market space and is fast contributing to the number of locally made cars purchased in Africa.
Mobius Motor of Kenyan origin released the first batch of low cost vehicles last year and has gained acceptance in the African market due to its design, multipurpose usage and cost.
Kiira Motors Uganda is the Africa’s first hybrid electronic car. An idea initiated by students but now has the support of the Ugandan government. Commercial production is slated to start production in 2018.
Industry experts believe that the introduction of policies aimed at developing the automobile sector as well as government support in terms of attracting investors, funding and endorsement are paramount to the development of Africa’s automobile sector.
By Pita Ochai