[dropcap]H[/dropcap]istory was made last week, as Toyota Nigeria Limited revealed first vehicle that rolled out of its newly built multi-million dollars Assembly plant located at Ikotun, Lagos.
The vehicle, a Toyota Hiace, was revealed to Motoring Journalists on Tuesday after a press briefing held at the company’s headquarters in Lekki.
In his address, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Olakunle Ade-Ojo, described the Hiace as a confirmation that the long-awaited NigerianToyota assembly plant is ready.
“Remember, last year, we told you we were looking at assembling Toyota Hiace,” he recalled. “The plant is now ready. In my presence, the first product from the plant, which we are showing you today, was assembled. Though a multi-line plant, we are starting with two lines, for assembling of pick-up and light commercial vehicles
“What has been done is test assembling. We are preparing for mass production, which will commence in another number of months.”
Toyota Hiace has been a household name in Nigeria. Popular with the nation’s commercial transporters, NGOs, politicians, Trade Associations and government functionaries, Hiace is well loved in Nigeria, not just because it carries
Toyota’s DNA of ruggedness, it is, according to commercial transporters, reliable, durable and easy to maintain, because its parts are readily available in all nooks and crannies of the country, just as other Toyota models.
Toyota’s first Nigerian assembly plant, according to TNL boss, occupies a land mass of 40,000 square metre. And it is capable of producing 20 to 30 units of vehicles from Semi Knocked Down (SKD) per annum.
Toyota Hiace was first introduced 49 years ago, two years after which Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, TNL chairman started marketing Toyota brand in Nigeria.
Since first introduced, Hiace has gone through some modifications, which is why there has been second (1977-1985), third (1982-1989), fourth (1989 – 2004) and fifth (2004 till date) generations. The model has been assembled worldwide in such countries as South Africa, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
[highlight]Posted by: Motoring World On:March 20th, 2016 In:Local News[/highlight]
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The nation’s Senate and the House of representative are constantly dragging Nigeria’s economic development into the mud, due to high level and long history of greed. And their corruption has held the country backwards for decades. The ongoing fight against corruption by the present administration is facing constant obstacles caused by MPs, Judges and Governors. And not to mention over 100 imported overpriced Toyota land cruiser vehicles recently bought and divided among the shameless lawmakers.
Government functionaries’ refusal to buy and drive made in Nigeria vehicles is a proof the greedy elements are number one enemy to the country. And we expect some change. Where would the change come from? As long the Government lacks the will to stop imported vehicles and others for official use, it means the change and the economic development this administration is talking about would remain elusive.