FOR the absence of two major automobile companies, the Coscharis Group and Stallion Group, this year’s Abuja Motor show would have been the biggest edition ever.
The two companies control no less than twelve brands in the country and their absence no doubt affected the fair which is in its 13th edition. The Stallion Group alone represents brands like Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai, Skoda, Porsche, and Mahindra while Coscharis Group distributes BMW, Ford, Jaguar/Land Rover, MG Rover and three other Chinese brands.
Their presence at the fair ground would no doubt boosted the fair as motor shows is about coming together and flaunting what you have.
According to information reaching Vanguard Motoring, the two companies actually signed to be at the show but opted out at the last minute for reasons best known to them. One of them apart from signing for the fair ran stories to announce their readiness to be at the fair as well as advert campaign that customers should meet them at the fair ground but couldn’t show up at last.
But their absence was cushioned by the strong presence by some of the traditional participant to the show who capitalised on their absence to exhibit all their products at the show as well as inviting their foreign partners to witness the event.
Lanre Shittu Motors representatives of Mack Trucks who display latest truck from mack invited their partners from the United State to witness the fair.
Mack was not the only one that came to the fair in full force. Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Toyota and the CFAO Group all showed that they have a very big stake in the Nigerian auto market.
While Mercedes-Benz representatives, Weststar Associates is displaying all Mercedes cars, and commercial vehicles, they also brought their partners from Germany to have first hand information on the product in Nigeria.
Weststar Associates also brought the Jeep brand and Chrysler brand to the fair for the first time and the Jeep Wrangler has become the talk of the show with its rugged looks.
The Jeep was not the only first time comer to the show, Hyundai commercial vehicles too made their first appearance courtesy of Globe Motors.
And never before, has the CFAO Group attended a fair in full force like they are doing the on-going Abuja Motor show. The foremost automobile marketing company came to the show with variety of brands and models, ranging from Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, and Chinese brands, thereby giving the visitors a wide range of choice to settle for.
Typical of Toyota, it had left no one in doubt that it is the clear market leader by parading a complete model range at the fair. Displaying its products at its traditional space at the fair ground since inception at the Eagles Square, Toyota is displaying its whole range of Sport Utility Vehicles, sedans, and commercial vehicles, while Kia is flying the Korean flag in the absence of Hyundai.
The Chinese are not missing at the fair ground. Geely the number one Chinese car brand in Nigeria and Brilliance Autos are represented by Hyra Motors while Assian Motors brought its commercial vehicles to the fair ground. ZX Auto too is at the fair, looking for a Nigerian representative having been dumped by its for former partner.
The local manufacturers too are putting up a strong show through Peugeot and National Truck manufacturers. Peugeot plans to launch the all-new Peugeot 508 at the fair ground tomorrow.
For Peugeot, they are displaying new models like the Peugeot 308, Pathner (long version).
For NTM, however time has come for government to show that they want the local auto manufacturer to live or die. Though they are displaying array of products manufactured in their Kano plant, the Managing Director, Ibrahim Bayero appealed for government patronage to enable him keep the 350 workers that earn their living through the assembly plant.
“We know it is cheaper and easier to import and sell, what about the Nigerians working in the assembly line,” he queried.