The major distributor of Toyota and JAC Motors in Nigeria, Elizade Motors Limited, has unveiled plans to start assembling the Japanese and Chinese brands respectively at its Ikotun Plant in Lagos by the second quarter of 2016.
In 2013, Elizade got the distributorship right for one of China’s major automakers, JAC Motors, a brand it is currently positioning for long term market.
The managing director for the JAC arm, Demola Adeojo, who disclosed the company’s plan at a media briefing recently, said that having been a distributor of Toyota for over 40 years, Elizade is prepared to position the JAC brand in its rightful position in the Nigerian market.
He said that the Ikotun plant is a multi-brand facility with a capacity to produce 10,000 units of vehicles per year, adding that works on the plant has been completed, with production commencing by the second or third quarter of next year.
Speaking on the JAC brand, Adeojo said, “As the Nigerian market expanded we saw that the landscape changed with a lot Nigerians buying used vehicle because of cost. So we made up our mind to introduce a vehicle with considerable less price and which we have confidence in. It is not simply because they offered us a cheaper vehicle, but it meets our minimum expecation. We visited China to study auto manufacturing and the tenets guiding their business philosophy.
“Two things happened that made me see JAC a potential “Toyota” of 40 years ago. One, they decided that they will not manufacture other vehicles than their original brand. Most Chinese auto companies have manufacturing partnership with global brands – Toyota, BMW, VW – which will produce the vehicles on their behalf. Two, they have their own research and design centre from day one – the only Chinese company that has a research centre in Japan and Europe. They put into their own DNA how to make a good car. So I belive that their business culture and philosophy is in line with what we expect and a vehicle we want to sell.”
Adeojo said that the implementation of the auto policy with 70 per cent tariff affected Elizade’s plan to introduce the JAC cars at that time.