By Theodore Opara
HONDA Automobile Western Africa Limited, HAWA, local assemblers of Honda Motor vehicles in union with The Honda Place, THP, has unveiled the all new made-in-Nigeria 2019 Honda HR-V entry level SUV in realisation of the company’s objective of becoming Africa’s leading manufacturing hub.
The objective which also corroborates the Federal Government’s National Automotive Industry Development Plan rides on the heels of the Accord, which was initially rolled out on line from the HAWA plant in July 2015 in furtherance of the production of Honda automobiles from Africa’s first Honda SKD (semi knocked down) facility at Ota, Ogun State Nigeria.
It is expected that the introduction of Honda’s entry level HR-V sport utility vehicle would affirm the manufacturer’s demonstrative goal of supplying products of the highest quality at reasonable price for the joy of mobility to as many customers as possible.
Uniquely styled for individual driving comfort, the new Honda HR-V will cater to the growing demand for functional and affordably priced entry level SUV, while also closing the gap between upscale Honda variants including 3.5-liter Pilot and 2.4-liter CR-V. Corroborating these assertions, Managing Director, Honda Automobile Western Africa Ltd., Akihiro Daido said the presence of the new Honda HR-V marked the arrival of entry level SUV from the Honda stable.
“Now, Nigerian customers can experience the power of our three SUVs: Honda Pilot 3.5-litre, CR-V 2.4-Litre and all new HR-V 1.8-Litre.” He said: “The Hi-Rider Revolutionary-Vehicle, HR-V, is a five-seater vehicle, proudly assembled in Nigeria with adherence to the Honda global production standards.”
Honda HR-V is sporty and combines luxury with affordability to change the industry norm, Mr. Daido added.
Earlier in his keynote address, THP Managing Director, Arun Rishi said: “We thrive not only in guaranteeing the joy of buying for the customers or the joy of selling for the dealership or the joy of creating for the manufacturer, but essentially, the joy of sustaining the product useable history, using our unrivalled after sales service support facilities located strategically across the country.”
HAWA and THP became technical partners 26 years ago, when the latter was appointed exclusive distributor for Honda automobiles in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Director-General, Jelani Aliyu (MFR) said efforts were ongoing to commence the implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan as soon as it is reviewed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “The Nigerian government through the NADDC is already working to accelerate the process of transition from the importation of used cars to the manufacture and distribution of new passenger vehicles, while providing a conducive legislative environment that would encourage the manufacturing of motor vehicles in Nigeria.”
He hinted on the new auto finance fund that would enable more Nigerians and corporate organisations access low interest loans to acquire new cars and re-fleet their pool of vehicles with new ones, just as the development of automotive laboratories for safety tests are at 70 per cent completion stage, Mr. Aliyu affirmed. According to him, the council will soon sign an MoU with Stanbic Bank, Jaiz Bank and Wema Bank for provision of single digit loan to new car buyer.
“The council’s focus and commitment remains on initiating policies, implementing strategies and bringing in world class approaches that will make Nigeria become and remain the centre for automotive development in Africa.”