Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM), Chief Innocent Chukwuma has for the umpteen time refute the insinuation that the vehicles produced in Nigeria are not manufactured, but an assemblage of broken part imported from other countries.
In a facility tour of Innoson Nnewi automobile factory by a team of Vanguard news reporters, Chief Chukwuma stated that Innoson does not assemble vehicles. According to him “we manufacture. We build 100 percent vehicle body here and over 60 percent of the products used in manufacturing the vehicle are gotten from Nigeria.
“We make all the carcass of all our vehicles here. We only import some engines and electrical components but produce all the plastic parts here. We have produced many new vehicles according to the demands of our customers and what they need those vehicles for.”
Even if they need what we do not have, we make the mould and produce their request and to specifications. That is why we are a vehicle manufacturing company, not an assembling company.
Explaining further on why he started manufacturing and not by assembling, he said people who failed in vehicle production in Nigeria started by assembling vehicles, and in that case, if anything happened to the parent company, the assembling plant here would lose because foreigners are not interested in building anything here.
To avoid the pitfalls of other businesses in vehicle production, Chukwuma said he studied vehicle production for about seven years before I could start.
“I went and studied where we had problems and I paid for professionals, expatriates who came here and trained my people. I brought them to Nigeria, about 60 of them, in the first year, we started this factory. Some of them finished under one year and left by the second year, I had about 42 and in the third year, I had about 15. Today, I have only eight”
Innoson, who recently win an Oil block license in Sierra Leone, expresses disappointment at the National Assembly for deciding to buy Toyota cars made in Japan, claiming they have received order for vehicle worth about $4.7million from Sierra Leone. “That’s what I’m producing now for Sierra Leone government. Normally, I do get order and supply from within and outside the country.