The Nigerian business environment welcomes the use of used cars as well as new ones. The introduction into the auto world stands to benefit users especially low income earners as buyers will not close their bank accounts for the purchase of one car. This is how it is in other countries of the world even in South Africa where the market of used cars is a big one.
In this interview with Moses Nosike of Saturday Vanguard Business, Mr. Eugene Conway, Commercial Manager, New and Used cars, Mandilas Enterprises Ltd., encourages Nigerians to go for refurbished cars in the absence of a new car. Excerpt:
Why do you concentrateÂ on used cars?
I have been involved in the sales industry for many years, and the used car market is very big in South Africa and is a thriving organisation. I have always had an interest in cars and have good working relations with people. So, when you combine the two, used cars was the answer. Not everyone can afford a new car, including myself. So, I knew this was going to be the correct career choice.
How is the rate of sales in the market?
Well, we have been open now for 8 months and the interest is huge as the concept is new in Nigeria.Â Â Â Â Â Â Itâ€™s not just the fact that we sell used cars but you can trade in your old car for a new car. Our sales are improving slowly every month which is a good thing. I am sure it will continue to grow slowly as the people of Nigeria realise and understand the concept and what a benefit it is to have.
Compare the used car and the new cars?
As you know, the new car market has always been big as that is the only way to buy a car in a good condition and have a warranty to cover you if anything is wrong with it in the first year or two. One could not compare the two.
The gap is so big, but it will change. As I have said, not everyone can afford a new car and that is where our approved used cars will slowly help the people of Nigeria with lower incomes to be able to buy an approved used car and still get a limited warranty on the engine and gearbox and be assured that all other components have been checked by our certified Mandilas workshop.
How do you see the use of used cars in Nigeria business environment?
This is growing quite nicely. We all want to drive nice cars and that sometimes means having to spend a little more than one can actually afford. So I do try and get the cars that would interest the small business man and the big business man. At the end of the day, you want to be able to buy a car that is going to be reliable and safe to drive so you can have peace of mind when driving your car.