Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited is consolidating its leadership in the nation’s car manufacturing sector with the launching of the Peugeot 301 in commercial quantity in Nigeria, an official of the company has said.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Ibrahim Boyi, said the company was in full support of the government’s Automotive Industrial Development Programme and had designated about 24,000 square metres within its premises in Kaduna State for the Local Components Park.
Representatives of the Federal Government and the management of the Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, on Saturday, had a feel of what the vehicle looked like, as they were taken round the park to inspect the Peugeot Components Auto Cluster Park.
The Automotive Industrial Development Programme is aimed at promoting local automobile production and reducing the importation of used cars.
Nigeria spends the sum of 4.2 billion Naira on importation of vehicles in 2010 alone and higher figures in 2011 and 2012.
Importation has continued to increase, boosting the economies of countries where the vehicles are manufactured while the indigenous automobile companies have continued to face low patronage.
To tackle this challenge, grow the Nigerian economy and create more jobs, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced the automotive policy that would support the establishment of automobile companies in Nigeria and the revival of the metal steel and tyre manufacturing industries. This has started yielding some results.
The manufacturing of the Peugeot vehicle has placed Nigeria in the league of automobile producing countries.
At the launch of the site for the automotive cluster pack and flag-off of local production of Peugeot vehicles in Kaduna, the Minister of Commerce Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said that the government would ensure that the automotive policy would not only be implemented but sustained beyond the present administration.Peugeot 301 Made In Nigeria2
“The automotive industry development plan took account of the problems that led to the collapse of the industry in the past and was developed after extensive consultations with the executives of the existing local auto manufacturers. That is why we plan to establish auto-skills and auto-companies parts in three parts of the country,” he said.
Mr Aganga further said that the government would launch a vehicle financing scheme to make funds available to Nigerians for the purchase of made in Nigeria vehicles under the new automotive policy.
The Minister said that the scheme would be launched within four months and would involve the collaboration of local and foreign banks.
The former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, lamented that indigenous automobile company, which used to be Nigeria’s pride in the global auto-industry, had been neglected by successive governments.
“I hope that Nigerians will like to patronise this more than ever before and I hope that there would be no government policies that would short change the automobile companies in the future,” General Gowon said.
The automobile company was able to commence production within the shortest period after the approval of National Automotive Development Plan, a development that confirms the company’s leadership role in the Nigerian automotive industry.
The unveiled Peugeot 301 was made from over 120 years of automotive experience in the traditional Peugeot style of safety, comfort and strength.
Over the next six to twelve months, the company has promised to roll out the Peugeot 508 and 408 models while hoping that the Federal Government will ensure the implementation and compliance of the automotive policy.
As Nigerians await the commencement of the policy, industry players have emphasised that the policy would be a mere mirage if the companies are not supported to pick up or protected from the influx of used cars into Nigeria daily.