Toyota unveils its First made in Nigeria vehicle in Lagos

By Kemi Mobuse - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

History was made in Lagos on Monday, March 21, when Nigeria’s first locally-assembled vehicle was unveiled by Toyota Nigeria. With the ‘Grow the Naira’ Hashtag going around, Toyota Nigeria Limited has made that even more poignant with their unveiling of its first locally-assembled vehicle in Lagos, a Hiace bus.

Speaking during the unveiling, Kunle Ade-Ojo, the managing director of Toyota Nigeria, informed the public, that; the new Hiace was assembled in the company’s plant in Lagos, built with 30,000-unit production capacity every year. 
According to him, the Hiace was assembled as a test case as the firm looks forward to a mass production in coming months. 

This breakthrough is coming just after two and a half years after the announcement of the Automotive Industry Development Plan by Nigeria’s federal government, which raised the import duty on cars from 22 per cent to 70 per cent in order to discourage vehicle importation.

With that in place, vehicle makers were given leverage and Toyota Nigeria took advantage announcing last year a plan to establish a vehicle assembly plant in the country to join Nissan, Ford, Kia, Peugeot and a host of other auto firms already assembling vehicles locally.

Ade-Ojo said, 
“We need to introduce some changes to the plant so as to achieve efficiency in the operations. With the current economic situation, we are looking at starting the mass production in a couple of months.“We are constantly training technicians and as far as the plant is concerned, we are assuring customers that we will continuously improve the assembling process of our vehicles to ensure that the vehicles meet international standards.”

Ade-Ojo said as soon as the mass production of vehicles commenced, there would be competitive prices for its products.

According to him, no automobile company is manufacturing any vehicle in Nigeria, stressing, “What everybody does is to assemble the parts. The parts are shipped in from overseas.” but it is hoped that this encourages more car manufacturers to make the cars in Nigeria.

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  1. Well, its a step in the right direction. The parts might not have been produced here but its all a gradual process. Kudos!

  2. Nigeria is so blessed, more to come. #proudnaija