By Theodore Opara
Despite the tsunami that hit Japan early this year and the series of recalls that trail the Toyota brand last year, the Japanese car maker has sustained its number one spot in Nigeria in the first five months of the year (January to May).
Out of the total of 18,377 brand new vehicles imported into the country during the period, Toyota accounted for 5,5517 units followed by Kia and Hyundai, with 2334 x 2024 vehicles respectively. Mitsubishi represented by CFAO Motor and Kewaram Motors brought in 927 units, while Ford, though Cosharis and BriscoeFord settled for 911 units.
Nissan and Honda imported 824 and 595 units respectively, leaving the Chinese maker with 592 cars import during the period.
Hyra Motors, representatives of Geely and Brilliance brands accounted for 80 units of the import from China with Geely accounting for 60 units and Brilliance 20 units.
Tata Motors, India auto maker, which entered the market only last year has so far had very impressive outing in the Nigerian market with its full range of trucks, buses, cars and Pick-up. Tata imported 556 vehicles during the period. The India brand which use to have a relationship with Mercedes Benz many years back is gradually becoming a household name in Nigeria.
Others include Sinotruck 546 units, Chevrolet 323, Volkswagen 301, Jinbei 308 and Ashok Leyland 284 units.
Toyota owes its hold to the number one position to the performance of the award winning Corolla, Hilux and Hiace buses. With its eight accredited dealers, Toyota brought in 2478 Corollas, 1373 Hilux pick-ups, 138 Land Cruiser Prado and 58 Vans.
Hyundai’s impressive showing comes from the Accent 1227 units, Tucson (ii x 35) leading its category, as well as the Sonata and Elantra.