By Oke Peter
Mikano Motors, a subsidiary of Mikano International Limited, has completed plans to roll out autogas vehicles and electric cars in Nigeria.
However, the company wants the Nigerian government to create the enabling environment and legal backing.
Similarly, it is seeking legislation that will protect local assemblers against importation that is taking chunks of the nation’s automotive market share, according to a statement emailed to our correspondent by its Public Relation Officer, David Fakuade on Friday.
Mikano Motors’ General Manager, Mr Ali Salman, was quoted to have said that Nigeria’s auto market would compete favourably with global brands if given the right support.
He said, “The Nigerian auto industry shall effectively compete in the entire African automobile market if the right policies are made by the government.”
The automaker also celebrated the launch of its locally assembled Geely EC7 Sedan and Geely X7 Crossover into the Nigerian automotive market.
It had earlier acquired the sole franchise of Geely auto brand in Nigeria, signing an exclusive partnership with the Chinese manufacturer in October.
Salman said that the local assemblage of the Geely automobile brand would boost the nation’s economy via job creation.
He said, “Although Mikano has always been known as a service provider in many aspects, including power, steel and medical, our decision to invest in the automotive sector was motivated by our belief that Nigeria deserved a better transportation experience, rather than being a dumping area for second-hand cars with no history, no warranty and no spare parts.
“Therefore, we chose to assemble and ultimately manufacture a top-quality automotive brand to create jobs for the youths, help stimulate the nation’s economy and further support Nigerian families with most comfortable and affordable means of transportation.”
According to him, the current Geely auto brand is entirely different from the former Geely Cars Nigerians used to know.
“This current Geely auto brand,” he pointed out, “is a meeting point for the latest automobile technology and modern science.”
Salman said the automobile firm also included the after sales option to enable more patronage.
He said, “Already, we have 3s (showroom, service centre and spare parts) and 2s (showroom and service centre) locations all over Nigeria. The centres are equipped with modern tools to ensure effective after-sales services to our customers.
“Through our appointed dealership across the country, Geely automobile brand’s spare parts are now available nationwide. While we are still appointing more dealers to ensure that our parts are available to every location in Nigeria, we are making servicing parts available via various accredited channels to avoid the incident of fake parts.”
The locally assembled Geely EC7 Sedan, now on sale in Nigeria, comes with a load of safety features, some of which are seatbelt reminder, overspeeding alarm device, anti-theft alarm device, hand brake unreleased reminder, explosion-proof leakproof plastic fuel tank, amongst other features.
Also being assembled in Nigeria, the Geely X7, a crossover, is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre engine, which puts out 150 brake horsepower, bhp at 5,300 revolutions per minute, rpm and some 225 Newton meters.