…Says it Targets Certain Brands
[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited has berated the nation’s automobile policy saying the way it has been implemented was intended to drive certain brands out of the automobile market. According to him, the policy put certain brands at an advantage over others.
“It’s like our brand and some other brands have been targeted and others favoured”, he slammed, adding that his company had to set up an assembly plant in other to keep his business going, not because he believes it was a good business decision.
“From all business parameters,” he said, we were convinced it (establishing a Toyota assembly plant) was not the wisest way to go; but we have to sustain our business.”
Chief Ade-Ojo said it was not as if his company was opposed to the country having a new auto policy but that to him, the way it was introduced and implemented lacked fairness.
“We were told that if we did not open Form M within a certain period, we will pay 35% levy”, the Toyota boss recalled. “But we discovered that a particular company had opened Form M for 15,000 vehicles. This company sold less than 2,000 vehicles the previous year.”
He said although there were complaints, but that the Jonathan regime did not listen.
“This particular company”, he reiterated, “brought in their 15,000 vehicles early in the year while others were at a loss. We order vehicles every month, but it takes five months to get our vehicles delivered. So we couldn’t do anything, because Toyota Motor Corporation does not produce vehicles and keep. Even when we complained that the policy was not fair to all concerned, there was no response, while this particular dealer that brought in 15,000 units was still selling its vehicles. We were able to maintain our price one year after and this affected the brand as the customers were denied their Toyota cars”.
Chief Ade-Ojo, however, assured Nigerian lovers of Toyota brand that end to the problem was imminent, as according to him, Toyota’s assembly plant being set up in Lagos Nigeria will start rolling out vehicles before September 2015.
“We are not prepared to run away from our country”, he said, adding, “it is those who are making things difficult that will run away.”