…Plans to Launch Toyota Conquest 2016
By: ROTIMI ASHER
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]oyota, Nigeria’s highest selling brand for decades, lost over 75% of market share in the current year, 2015.
The Head of Marketing, Toyota Nigeria Limited(TNL), Mr. Andrew Ajuyah, who gave the revelation last week, during the company’s 4th Quarter Press Forum held at its headquarter in Lekki, Lagos, attributed the decline to the nation’s auto policy as well as economic downturn resulting from the crash of the world crude oil prices.
Ajuyah lamented: “Nigerian economy has been passing through challenges as result of downfall in the international oil price, which affected the auto market, because government is the biggest spender.”
According to him, in 2015, “TNL brought into the auto market through the port a total number of 15,031 vehicles” compared to 45,618 vehicles in 2014, representing 67% decline.”
Notwithstanding, the company is optimistic of bouncing back in 2016.
“We sincerely believe that what happened in 2015 will not be repeated in 2016,” Mr. Ajuyah enthused, adding, “Whether we like it or not the government has appointed its ministers and they are committed to carrying out a lot of programmes next year. There will be investment in capital project, which will make a lot of money to move around and that will impact on the auto sector.”
Meanwhile, apart from its local production plant, which is almost ready, TNL has concluded plans to launch a new model of Toyota car called the ‘CONQUEST’ early next year. Original plan, according to Ajuyah, was to launch the car in December.
“It was supposed to come in December,” he explained. “Early next year, we will roll the ‘CONQUEST’ out.
Styled like Toyota Corolla, Toyota Conquest began production in 1988 with a 1.3 litre, 53 kW engine. Its twin cam version was also sold as the RSi Twin Cam with 96 kW. It was sold as a panel van called “Conquest Carri.
The sixth-generation five-door hatchback that was made in South Africa was marketed as the Toyota Conquest. The four-door sedan was also available, but with “Corolla” badging.
From all indications, the conquest might be one of the weapons with which TNL plans to wrestle back its dominant position in the nation’s auto market.