Foremost automobile marketing company in Nigeria, Elizade Motors Nigeria Limited, has finally ventured into automobile manufacturing in Nigeria with the production of Chinese brand, JAC. Elizade is the authorised distributor of JAC Motors in Nigeria and is targeting to produce 15,000 vehicles annually, including, passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks.
The plant, which is currently operating on a single shift is a multi-brand plant where the company would also assemble the Toyota brand in Nigeria. Speaking to journalists at the plant, the Managing Director, Elizade Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ademola Ade-Ojo said that the plant would have commenced operations earlier than now but for their inability to source foreign exchange for production.
•L-R: Dr Pereira Sheteolu, Programme Manager/CEO, Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority; Engr. Luqman Mamudu, Director, Policy and Planning, National Automotive Design and Development Council; Chief Michael Ade Ojo, Founder, Elizade Nig. Ltd; Mr. Demola Ade Ojo, MD/CEO, Elizade Motors and Eng Eze Obasi, Director, Special Procurement, Bureau of Public Procurement at the commencement of JAC Motors Assembly plant by Elizade Nigeria Ltd in Lagos.
“It is difficult getting forex. We are supposed to have opened the plant since last year but it has been idle most of the time,” Ade-Ojo said the plant, which would assemble JAC models, including passenger and light duty vehicles, may not venture into the assemblage of Complete Knock Down (CKD) until government addresses key challenges of local content in automobile production which should be at least 30 per cent. According to him, the organisation commenced operation despite the economic shortfall in order to deliver affordable products that would assuage plights of Nigerians and support government’s efforts in the sector. Locally sourced material Continuing he said: “We are the largest automotive group in the country in terms of units. It will be irresponsible of us to sit down and fold our arms. We need to do everything to introduce cheaper products to the market. What we are doing today is the demonstration to ensure that we support the government and have something that the customer can buy.” “Moving our production to CKD depends on how government ensures that the other factors key into ensuring that CKD strives. CKD cannot strive unless you have a minimum of about 30 per cent locally sourced material. “If you can’t source 30 per cent local content, there is no point in doing CKD. It depends on how government structures the auto market and the industry.” Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority, Dr. Pereira Sheteola, who said he converted the agency’s budget meant to purchase another brand of vehicle last year to buy a JAC T6 pick up because of the price differences narrated that the vehicle offered satisfaction beyond his expectation. He believed the ruggedness, fuel efficiency, security features, reverse sensors and the driving capacity placed the model as of the most affordable and durable in the market.
In his remarks, the founder of Elizade Group, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, explained that the Group will produce the Toyota and JAC brands from the plant. According to him, “one side of the plant is for Toyota and the other is for JAC production,”Ade Ojo said. Describing Toyota as the elder brother of JAC in Nigeria, he said when you go round the assembly plant, you will be very impressed with what we have done. He disclosed that very soon, the company will also commence production of Toyota brand at the plant. “The Toyota SKD are yet to be here but in few months time, we shall commence production, very soon you will return to see the Toyota line.”