Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) has predicted a five per cent growth in Nigeria’s automobile industry for 2018, against the 48 per cent drop it witnessed in the sales of new vehicles in the last nine months of 2017.
Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo said this while addressing journalists in Lagos, said about 7,000 new vehicles were sold in the first nine months of the year. The sales represent 48 per cent drop from the total 14,500 units sold in the same period in 2016.
Ade-Ojo said with the gradual improvement in the economy, the growth is visible. The TNL boss said the auto industry could grow by five per cent in 2018, while also predicting that the Toyota market share in Nigeria will rise to 24 per cent at the end of the year.
“From the importation point of view, there is a slight improvement because, in the first quarter, we had about 90 per cent drop, but as of the third quarter, the drop had reduced to 62 per cent.”
“As of the end of the third quarter of the year, the vehicle sales were 7,000 units compared to about 14,500 last year, which is a drop of about 48 per cent in sales.” Ade-Ojo said.
Assessing the performance of his product, Ade-Ojo said Toyota Hilux which belonged to the pick-up commercial segment, contributed about 70 per cent of the about 1,900 units of vehicles sold by the Toyota Nigeria through its dealers between January and September 2017.
Among the Toyota top seller models, which Ade-Oyo mentioned included Toyota Hiace and Avensis.
“This year, if you look at the ratio sale of vehicles, most sales were more of commercial vehicles,” but in 2018, he said, “we hope to see a bit of balancing with the recovery of passenger vehicles.”
Owing to the last country’s economic recession, he said sales of vehicles were negatively affected, but “as the economy improves, so will there be balancing of sales across the models and vehicle segments.” Ade-Ojo said.
The economic recession, he said also affected the fall in the importation of vehicles, in the last one year, he also blamed this on an upward review of import duty from 22 per cent to 70 per cent, while also mentioning the drop in the dollar and other foreign currencies value as a contributory factor.
Toyota (Nigeria) Limited is the exclusive franchise owner of the Toyota brand in Nigeria. For about two decades now the company has consistently sustained the leadership role in the automobile industry in the country. Toyota recorded the highest market share in Nigeria’s automobile industry with 22 per cent as of the third quarter of 2017.