Tata Africa Services (Nigeria) Limited and Iron Products Industries (IPI) Ltd have rolled out the 200th locally assembled vehicle.
Tata’s Head of the Auto Division, Suraj Prakash, said the firm would continue to pursue a local content programme that would ensure competitive pricing.
Prakash said: “TATA Motors has a strong presence in Nigeria with investment of over 10 million dollars. We started assembly in 2016 which was well received by Nigerians. Our vehicles are well assembled and cost effective and it is better. Our vehicles are durable, up to standard and made for the Nigerian terrain. We will like to have more of government’s support on automobile policy because importation of tokunbo (second-hand) vehicles is of great disadvantage. Our vehicles are not expensive because most of the materials are sourced locally, so the cars are cost effective.”
IPI Managing Director Nunu Diwan boasted that his company is the leader in steel fabrication in the country.
Noting that the plant assembled about four TATA trucks daily, Diwan said the capacity could be increased if the need be.
He hinted of plans to move from assembling of the vehicles to actual manufacturing by sourcing most of the components locally.
“We are targeting manufacturing, not just assembly. By next year, 40 percent of the TATA trucks available in the market will be locally made,” he said.
Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) Industrial Infrastructure Director Abdulwaheed Odetoro, praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for retaining the auto policy initiated by the previous regime.
Odetoro assured that government will continue to support and protect locally manufactured vehicles.
He said: “In the past, what we had was policy somersault, but now the government has put up a bill passed by National Assembly and waiting for the President’s assent. Once it is signed, the core operators in Nigeria will be protected.
“The country is appreciative to those who have faith in Nigeria because manufacturing is key to economic development. We need to transform the sector from import dependent to full-scale manufacturing with realisation of technology transfer to indigenous experts in the industry.”
In a symbolic gesture, the dummy key to the 200th TATA truck was presented to one of the brand’s loyal customers, Cobil Nigeria Limited.
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