I personally visited the location of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company since I always need to provide facts to my readers. So I have to take the challenge to visit the commercial city of Nnewi, in Anambra State, Nigeria where the assembly line of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company if located. Though I could not meet personally with the CEO, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, I gathered the necessary information.
And I have made a summary of the key fact you need to know about the automobile firm. Amid all the stories and speculations, my advice for everyone is to take a day out to visit what have been described as “Africa’s First Indigenous Car Manufacturer”.
So let’s start with the first point.
1. The Assembly Line
I always had the feeling that the parts are just bought and put together but a closer examination shows that the assembly line has a close resemblance the Volkwagen’s automobile assembly line found in Germany. Construction and assembly of most of the parts including the branded engine is carried out right there in the factory. Granted, just like in other automobile manufacturing companies, some of the parts are designed by a different company and then branded or licenced. Example is the battery(designed by Exide), the brain box(by Samsung Electronice), the wheels etc
2. Robot Enabled System
As an Artificial Intelligent expert, I already know that for any assembly line to properly function in this technology age, there must some form of robot-asisted operation. These I have seen a number of time in different countries in Europe. To my surprise, the Innoson Vehicle Manufactures was not an exception. Robotic arm assist in the polishing of the chassis as well as fastening some of the assembled parts. This adds to give this vehicle manufacturing process and international standard appearance.
3. Produces a Variety of Cars
The first time I researched about Innoson was in 2011 when I saw a company use and IVM bus as their staff bus. At the time, I drew a conclusion that the produce only buses. But that was not the case. The IVM class of vehicles includes IVM Carrier 4WD(equivalent to hilux), INNOSON G5(equivalent to a kia Sorento) and so on. I would try to obtain a comprehensive list of vehicles in the fleet.
4. The Engineers
Granted, there are a number of expatriats on site expecially from Japan, China and Germany, and a few African countries. But I could tell you that the bulk of the engineering team are Nigerian graduates from different universities in Nigeria including FUTO, UNN, UNIPORT, UNIBEN, UNILAG etc. A few of the very technical staff were trained on the job and has no university degrees. The average salary of an engineer is about 76% the average salary of engineers in Europe (because that is where I can talk of, as I’ve been there for a while). However, you can see a high level of commitment to the job.
5. Cost of the Vehicles
Before now, I always believed that these made in Nigeria cars are not affordable and granted that would be true if you always but second-hand cars (called ‘tokumbo’) just like many Nigerian. I confess I was not an exception because my first car was a second-hand Toyota Camry.
But facing the facts, the cars are very much affordable compared to equivalent new cars. I would not say there is a very big difference but its quite clear. If an SUV costs xyz NGN, then an equivalent SUV produced by IVM would be about ijk NGN (this is just an example not the actual cost). That would give us a percentage of 10.1 lower. Same goes for other cars. You could get cars of the range of any range of prices. I would provide the detailed sheet in my next article.
For now, I have not used the vehicles so I cannot say exactly. But I’m thinking of buying one by next year, expecially the IVM FOX, just to establish the durability of these vehicles.
There are whole lot of things to say but I would like to give some final notes and in subsequent articles I would provide more details.
I would say at this point that so far, the INNOSON have made great strides in the area of vehicle manufacturing especially in Africa. I think it would be better to buy a vehicle from there at least to give a support and for the good track record created. If given needed government support, I think IVM could compete with the likes of Ford and Toyota.
If you have some information you would like me to get, leave a comment below and in a short time, I would respond with the infomation you need