Nigeria car imports drop as Toyota leads in volume sales

Car imports into the country dropped by about 90 per cent between 2016 the first quarter of 2017, Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo has revealed.

Ade-Ojo who gave the statistics at the TNL quarterly briefing in Lagos recently said in terms of retail sales, the auto market did about 2000 vehicles compared to about 5000 vehicles that was done in Q1 of 2015.

Among the retail sales, he said “Toyota has a share of about 22-23% of Q1 sales, generally. Forex continues to be a major challenge, interest rates have gone up.”

Giving the figures for 2016, Kunle said, “In terms of sales, retail sales went from about 32,000 in 2015 to about 18,000 last year. So, the market dropped about 42%.”

He said Toyota Nigeria Limited “went down from about 8,000 in 2015 to slightly over 4,000 in 2016. So, we had a drop of about 35%.”

Regardless of this, he said, “We grew our share from 24% in 2015 to about 26% in 2016.”

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Reviewing imports in the same period, he said, “Imports dropped about 60% from about 18,000 in 2015 to just close to 7,000 in 2016. Of course, in terms of our share of the imports, we had about 43% in 2015 and that dropped to about 38% in 2016.”

According to the TNL boss, Nigeria’s Auto Industry is expected to import and sell between 8,000 and 10,000 new vehicles this year, which is lower than the 15,000 projected at the end of last year.

The forecast, Ade-Ojo said was based on the industry’s performance in the first quarter of 2017, adding that at the end of the first quarter of 2017, total import figures in the nation’s automobile industry, from the nation’s ports, came to about 350 units compared to about 3,500 units that came in at the same time last year.

According to him, the devaluation of the Naira also affected sales last year, saying “whereas in the first half of the year the Naira was about 200 to the Dollar but that by the end of the year it had doubled. So, prices of vehicles also pretty much doubled and a lot of businesses could not afford to pay for the increase. We at TNL are struggling to survive. A lot of companies had to retrench their staff last year as a result of the tough economic situation.”