Oluwatobi Ajayi, CEO of NORD Motors, has urged Nigerians to reduce the rate at which they use dollars to import foreign used and new cars by buying made-in-Nigeria cars.
Speaking during a recent live conversation on Channels Television, Ajayi said the quality of vehicles in Nigeria is as good as any other vehicle manufactured anywhere in the world.
He said auto brand like NORD has a 5-star vehicle, which is one of the safest and highest-quality vehicles in the world, adding that Nigerians need to learn to drive vehicles made in their own country.
According to him, it is the same manufacturers of chips, engines, and transmissions of some of the most trusted brands in Japan, that are making vehicle parts for Nigerian brands.
“I think the entire Nigerian auto industry has a capacity of about 200,000 units per year, but we have a demand of just 19,000. Nigerians buy 500,000 vehicles a year. NORD has factories in Lagos and Epe, one factory can do about 10,000 shifts. But we rarely need to produce and sell more than 100-150 units per year, which is like less than 2 percent of the capacity.
Ajayi further said that Nigerian car manufacturers are already doing their bits by making quality cars, ensuring vehicles are durable and safe but there is a need for the market to respond positively. He added that the government also has a role to play by initiating interest in these vehicles.
He said buying made-in-Nigeria cars can help reduce the rate at which Nigerians buy used vehicles of any kind because there’s a huge advantage in buying new cars.
“When you buy cars abroad, you are creating job opportunities over there. But, when you buy cars in Nigeria, you create even more job opportunities for Nigerians. The more you buy things made in Nigeria, the more you create a middle class that will be able to buy cars that are decent and affordable,” he added.
Citing an example, Ajayi said that NORD has new vehicles that are sold from N12 million upwards, which is cheaper than most imported brand-new cars.