[dropcap]K[/dropcap]ojo Motors Limited, one of the leading automobile dealerships in Nigeria, is setting an ambitious goal that will see the wholly Nigerian-owned company assemble different range of Yutong buses locally.
With technical support extended by Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co. of China, Kojo Motors Limited while throwing its weight behind the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP) of the federal government, targets to produce over 1800 units of the buses in the country within the next three years, with a robust master-plan to grow the number.
According to Kojo Motors, in a statement made available to Motoring World on Tuesday, the bus comes with array of unique models, three of which the company presented at the recently concluded Lagos Motor fair.
These include the ZK6729D, ZK6858H9 and ZK6122H9 described as outstanding range of model that guarantees return on investment for buyers.
For in instance, the ZK6729D model is most suited for commute within the city in the league of shuttle buses like the Toyota Coaster. There’s also the ZK6729DG model with a City bus interior. Ideal for BRT or mass transit operations like the Lagos State Bus Reform Initiative and other State Mass Transit Projects . Muyi Line and some private companies are already using these for airport shuttle, staff bus and so on.
Next is the ZK6858H9 model described by Kojo Motors as an ideal coach.
It explained: “It is comfortable, spacious luggage compartment and the new standard for intercity travel in Nigeria. This coach is well suited for long journeys and performs excellently well for a journey of up to 600 kilometres from Lagos to Accra or Lagos to the any part of the country. Some operators like GUO Transport, EFEX Executive and De Modern Bus are already doing this route with the ZK6858H9 model.”
Next on the line is the ZK6122H9, a long distance coach model designed for travel up to 1,000km. The current model comes with toilet, offering a new level of convenience for passengers.
African Eagle, E. Ekeson Bros Transport, GUO Transport, Eddyson Transport, LandStar are some operators doing Lagos to far North and East with this model.
The move, according to Chinedu Oguegbu, executive director, Kojo Motors Limited, will address the growing transport needs of the country.
Presently operated as a semi-knocked-down (SKD) assembly plant, Kojo Motors Limited plans to migrate to full completely-knocked-down (CKD) regime in the next three to five years under a good economic condition.
With the expansion of the local domestic market needs as priority in the short to medium plan, the Yutong Bus assembler hopes to extend its frontiers to other regional markets outside Nigeria eventually, which will position the country as an export hub.
In terms of pricing compared to other competing commercial bus brands, it will offer better value, price and specification compared to European models. Kojo Motors also offers financing in addition to service and spare parts. Offices and service stations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin City and Awka are well equipped and staffed to provide efficient after-sales support of the Yutong buses.
As the world’s major bus and coach supplier, Yutong is a large-scale enterprise specializing in bus business as well as covering covers areas of construction machinery, special vehicles, auto parts and components, real estate and other investment business.
As the No.1 bus brand in China with largest bus production base in the world, Yutong, which boasts of powerful R&D capability, enjoys huge popularity both at home and abroad.
In 2016, it sold 70,988 units buses, ranking the first place in China for fourteen consecutive years. In addition, it has been the sales champion in the global bus market for several years.
In recent years, new energy buses have shown huge market potentials. Yutong has also made impressive achievements in this promising field. In 2016, its sales volume of new energy buses exceeded 26,000 units, up by over 30% year on year. Ranking the first place in the global new energy bus market, Yutong new energy buses took nearly 40% of the global new energy bus market.
In terms of drivetrain and technological advancement, years of accumulation on technological research and development has laid a solid foundation for the commercial operation of Yutong’s fuel cell buses.
In September 2017, Yutong hydrogen fuel cell buses won the bid in the 3rd phase of a United Nations’ project, which will carry out trial operation in Zhengzhou. Yutong once again won the bid for 25 fuel cell buses to be operated in Zhangjiakou, marking that the commercialization pace of its fuel cell buses is gaining ground.
Company sources said that in the future, under the support of the fuel cell and hydrogen energy engineering technology research centre, the technological level of China’s fuel cell buses, new breakthroughs in market-oriented operations with Yutong as a representative, will reach a new level.