*Holds first test drive of Geely brand in Nigeria
By Theodore Opara
MIKANO Motors, a subsidiary of Mikano International Limited has explained why it went into automobile production in Nigeria. The renowned service provider which launched two Geely models EC7 Sedan and X7 Crossover assembled at its plant, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, said that their aim is to create jobs for the youths and stimulate the economy.
Addressing newsmen shortly after media test drive of the cars, at their plant, the Sales Manager, Mr. Evaristus Eze said: “The local assembly of Geely automobile brand is part of his company’s efforts towards boosting the nation’s economy via job creation.
“Although Mikano has always been known as a service provider in many aspects, including power, steel and medical, our decision to invest in the automotive sector was motivated by our belief that Nigeria deserves a better transportation experience, rather than being a dumping area for second-hand cars with no history, no warranty and no spare parts.
“Therefore, we chose to assemble and ultimately manufacture a top-quality automotive brand to create jobs for the youths, help stimulate the nation’s economy and further support Nigerian families with most comfortable and affordable means of transportation.”
Aside being a Chinese automotive brand that recorded top scores in European Car Assessment Programme (EuroNcap), Geely vehicles, via its acquisition of top European brands, including Volvo and Lotus, are produced in line with European standard.
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According to him, the new Geely vehicles are entirely different from the former Geely cars Nigerians used to know. Vanguard gathered that more models of the Geely brand will soon be introduced by the company as some have been sited on the road undergoing road test already.
This current Geely auto brand, he pointed out, “is a meeting point for the latest automobile technology and modern science.”
Mikano’s plan for locally assembled Geely automobiles started over two years ago. To ensure that it’s auto buying customers run their cars with peace of mind, the company has covered the entire landscape of Nigeria with various after-sales service centres.
He explained, “we have 3s (Showroom, service centre and spare parts) and 2s (showroom and service centre) locations all over Nigeria. The centres are equipped with modern tools to ensure effective after-sales services to our customers.
“Through our appointed dealership across the country, Geely automobile brand’s spare parts are now available nationwide. While we are still appointing more dealers to ensure that our parts are available to every location in Nigeria, we are making servicing parts available via various accredited channels to avoid the incident of fake parts,” he said.
Powered by a 1.5-litre engine, the locally assembled Geely EC7 Sedan, comes with a load of features. The Geely X7 also assembled in Nigeria, a Crossover, is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre engine, which puts out 150bhp at 5,300 rpm and some 225Nm. It is equipped with an array of modern features that are found in top-end SUVs.
Mr. Eze said, “taking cognisance of affordability problem, which has trailed made-in-Nigeria vehicles over the years, Mikano, a company which employs over 2,000 Nigerians is already working out a friendly auto finance to take care of this challenge.”
“It is also putting together plans to roll out autogas vehicles and electric cars as soon as the Nigerian government create necessary enabling environment, especially legal backing that would protect local assemblers against imported junks that are taking the chunks of the nation’s automotive market share.
“The Nigerian auto industry shall effectively compete in the entire African automobile market if the right policies are made by the government,” the Mikano Motors’ boss assured.
For over 27 years, Mikano has been providing premium quality products to the Nigeria market, by building global strategic alliances with the world’s largest manufacturers.
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Geely has acquired Volvo 100%, AG Daimler 10%, Lotus Brand 50%, Proton Brand 49%, London Taxi 100% AND Lynk & Co 100%. With all this acquired technology, Geely has succeeded in taking her position as a global brand, coupled with its ability to acquire the highest global and future technologies in the automotive industry. Its sales exceeded 2.1 million cars, placing it among the world’s top car manufacturers.
Over the past 10 years Geely has invested more than $14 billion in research and development (R&D), and plans to invest more in the next five years, in a commitment to providing the highest level of modern technologies in the industry.
Specifically, Geely Holdings, Daimler AG of Mercedes Benz and other Geely family brands have launched plans to collaborate on developing highly effective powertrain systems for next-generation hybrid vehicle applications.