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Home NEWS Nigeria Mikano Breaks Silence on Disagreement with Geely, Assures Customers of Unbroken Support

Mikano Breaks Silence on Disagreement with Geely, Assures Customers of Unbroken Support

ROTIMI ASHER

After turning the fortune of Geely automobile brand to a success story in Nigeria, Mikano Motors’ relationship with its OEM has gone sour, following its decision to acquire Changan, another Chinese auto brand.

The Managing Director of Mikano Motors, Ralph Haidar, who confirmed this development at a media parley held in Lagos, however, assured his company’s existing Geely customers of a non-stop, state-of-the-art aftersales service support.

Mikano’s decision, he revealed, was necessitated by the need to serve and satisfy the desire of its Nigerian customers with varieties and wider automobile model options, which Geely failed to fulfill.

He recalled that, although the presumption of the Nigerian market was bad for Geely, Mikano successfully changed the bad perception and built a trust that resulted in a turn-around success for the brand.

‘’After building the best showroom in Lagos,” he explained, “in accordance with Mikano’s age long corporate culture, we also raised the bar in term of customers service and experience, which gave us a good success story, as we penetrated more market and won many awards.

‘’But, as you know, the market in Nigeria requires a lot of diversity and availability, which we were not getting from Geely. Nigerians desire options and varieties, when it comes to automobiles, hence our decision to add another quality brand in the interest of our customers and the Nigerian market.

“However, to avoid associating with a product that will affect the image we have built over the years, we were very meticulous about what brand we should represent. So our consideration was both for the best as well as a brand that would guarantee us extensive line-up to gain more market share.

“We settled for Changan, which we found out to be number one selling brand after Toyota in Ivory Coast and all the countries in the Middle East and Africa.

“Besides its market performance, Changan has been winning award for the past four years. It is the number one quality brand from China. It is the number one quality brand according to JD Power International and that is something that is very important to us,” he added.

The choice of Changan, being another Chinese brand caused a strain in Mikano-Geely relationship.

Mikano, it was revealed, was willing to keep both brands, but Geely disagreed.

“According to them,” he explained, “you can’t represent two Chinese brands. You can get European or Japanese brand but not two Chinese brands under the same roof. We had almost six months negotiation with them but they said no, that is not what we want. It is either you continue with Geely or Changan.

‘’As any responsible business entity will do, therefore, we decided to continue with Changan.  Geely is giving three models that can move to five and Changan is given 25 brands including pickup and other commercial vehicles. Imagine 25 to 5 and I know these brands. They are not brands I will sell and have issues.  The brands will also give us more confidence, more market, more presence, more exposure and variety of product and so many other things. So, this is the situation in the past few months.

‘’From Mikano side, we are saying whoever will bring Geely; we wish them all the best. Although, Geely was a good brand to us but you can’t force your first wife to stay if she decides to leave, ‘’Haidar added

Haidar, however, stressed that, despite the issue with Geely, Mikano has continued and will continue to be responsible with its existing Geely customers in terms of providing the right after-sale support, including covering even areas not in the warranty to give maximum satisfaction to the customers.

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