Chief Operating Officer, AG Leventis, Mr. Sunday Asade has said the auto policy in Nigeria would help to create a lot of jobs and grow the economy despite its criticisms.
He disclosed this in Lagos while addressing newsmen during his visit to Leventis’ Volkswagen (VW) partners. According to him, Nigeria has an auto policy, which is targeted at developing the local vehicle industry. About 54 licenses have been so far issued by the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) for local assembly of vehicles, with the firms having installed capacity of 410,000. The policy has attracted a lot of criticisms, but it would eventually help to create a lot of jobs and grow the economy.
“When we have this auto policy, it makes foreign companies bring in their businesses here. You can see the VWU Brazil coming here. When you have this, you improve the economy, compared with when you are bringing in new trucks,” he added.
In a related development, AG Leventis Nigeria said its locally assembled trucks can compete anywhere in the world as they are durable and economical. He marinated that the company enjoys a healthy partnership with VW in Brazil, which is why all the products of VW in Nigeria are assembled by Leventis, saying the assembly plant (in Moniya) is owned and operated by Leventis, though its specification was put together by VW.“VW products are rugged and they are meant for Nigerian roads. When you look at the current infrastructure we have in the country, you will appreciate that these are trucks that can work for long hours, and they are better in terms of economic efficiency. The products are cost-effective when the total cost is factored in,” he said.
“In terms of infrastructure, what you have here is what you can find all over the world. That shows that whatever we assemble here is durable. If you have any issues, you have the technical partners who will come down from Brazil. Our people are well trained by the same VW. We offer regular training in terms of after-sales. You can be sure in terms of maintenance, which is why I said that the total cost is much better than buying a cheap product without support,” he explained.
“You can buy a cheap truck and the cost of maintenance will be high. VW’s total cost of ownership is far, far better in terms of spare parts availability, and support from VW from Brazil.
“Now that we have the assembly plant, people who are assembling the vehicles are trained by our partners from VW Brazil. The technical capability they have is very high. The cost of maintenance is very low because the vehicles are assembled here,” he stated. He pointed out that the major thing for trucks is after-sales support, which Leventis offers. He added that absence of after-sales service is a major reason for incessant breakdown of vehicles along the roads.On second-hand vehicles, he said they are cheap in the short-term but expensive in the long-run.
Pius Okonkwo, assistant general manager of Oritsetimeyin Logistics Limited, which purchased 10 more units of VW 17220 in addition to the fleet they have, said his firm has confidence in VW trucks, having been using them for six years. “We have been using the trucks since 2012. To be very factual, the trucks have been wonderful and are specifically built for Nigerian roads,” Okonkwo said.
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