The management of Stallion Group announced on Sunday that its made-in-Nigeria range of Hyundai vehicles manufactured and assembled locally are ready for sale at affordable prices.
This is coming one month after the Stallion Group, which operates a multivehicle assembly plant, said it had begun locally produced Hyundai range of vehicles, after inaugurating and rolling out the first set of made-in-Nigeria Nissan automobiles in April.
The investment, in line with the Federal Government’s automotive policy initiative driven by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, according to Stallion Chairman, Sunil Vaswani, is to give Nigerians a break from the stranglehold of wholesale vehicle importers.
Some of the Hyundai passenger cars for sale at between N1.5 and N1.9 million, Stallion Group added, “are i10, Grand, Accent, Elantra and iX35, while in the truck and bus segments, the 10-tonne HD160, seven-tonne HD 120, five-tonne HD78 and three-tonne HD65 as well as 28+1 seater Hyundai County bus and 30-seater Stallion County bus are now being supplied to the market.”
The group announced, specifically the starting price of N1.594 million for the Hyundai i10 and N1.990 million for the Grand, urging customers to take advantage of the price and drive a certified made-in-Nigeria Hyundai car.
Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited’s plant Managing Director, Tokunbo Aromolaran, said the vehicles are certified to the world’s highest automotive operating standard – ISO/TS 16949.
This is an assurance that they are of the “highest automotive operating standard in the world and its benefits include improved quality processes at the facility along with streaming supply chains both leading to a better overall product”, he explained.
According to him, the plant had supported its ambitious growth plans by prioritising the need for a faster and more efficient environment to facilitate concurrent product development and support a rapidly changing requirement for a vehicle programme, Aromolaran added.
He stressed: “Today, we are glad to inform Nigerians that we have delivered
on our promise to make available affordably priced vehicles – thanks to strong-willed President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the indefatigable supervisory roles of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment headed by Dr. Olusegun Aganga.”
The first phase of delivery, which has already begun, he continued, establishes a system of record for the complete vehicle programme, which will gradually be expanded to meet the ever-increasing demands for functional vehicles in Nigeria.
“Prospective customers can now walk into any of our dealership showrooms nationwide to buy value-driven made-in-Nigeria Hyundai certified vehicles.
“Hyundai i10, Grand, Xcent and Elantra are elegantly crafted functional cars with eye-popping styling, good fuel economy, and fantastic driving experience with modest starting price that is affordable to every desiring buyer,” Aromolaran assured.
Group Managing Director, Stallion Automobile Division, Parvir Singh, who received the made-in-Nigeria Hyundai vehicles on behalf of the sale & marketing division of Hyundai Motors Nigeria, described the achievement as a milestone in the history of Nigeria’s automotive industry.
The company’s dealers in Lagos, Warri, Asaba, Anambra and Abakaliki, the statement said, have also commended the initiative, expected to expand customers’ options of owning vehicles of below N2 million range.
Speaking at a media parley after meeting the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAMA) comprising 14 vehicle manufacturers like Innosons based in Nnewi, Anambra State; Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (Kaduna); Leyland (Ibadan, Oyo State), as well as other global car manufacturing brands that have already started local assembly of their various products, Aganga said there are ongoing discussions to ensure that Nigerians obtain loans at the rate of about 10 per cent to enable the buy the vehicles, over a four-year term.
“The Federal Government is not creating a pool of funds, but encouraging banks to buy-in, and we are working with them to reduce the interest rate and they have agreed.
“Government has brought the rate down close to about 10 per cent. The pool of funds can be as big as (the banks) want it, based on commercial consideration,” he added.
He said 14 vehicle assembly plant owners are involved in the new efforts, and would pay zero duty when importing Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts, while the first type of semi-CKD is to attract 5 per cent duty; and the second grade – 10 per cent.
This, he continued, brings the blended rate for the new, CDK and both classes of semi-CKDs to about 20 per cent.
The idea of the automotive policy, he stressed repeatedly, is to ensure affordable cars and vehicles in the country.
He challenged all auto manufacturers to “prioritise affordability.”
Already, Director-General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, said recently that as part of supporting the automotive policy, the Fund is setting up vehicle spare-parts production centres in Lagos, the South-East and North-East geo-political zones.
Fielding questions recently also, Chief Executive of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Rasheed Olaoluwa, spoke of a desire to fund local vehicle assembly plants and others “looking at manufacturing vehicle components locally, rather than importing them”.
“These are people we are discussing with, and we can finance the local manufacturing of some of the car components” as part of participating in the value-chain, he assured.