History was made in Lagos on Monday, March 21, when Nigeria’s first locally assembled vehicle was unveiled by Toyota Nigeria.
The car making company had earlier planned to establish a vehicle assembly plant in the country alongside Nissan, Ford, KIA, Peugeot and a host of other auto firms already assembling vehicles locally.
The managing director of Toyota Nigeria, Kunle Ade-Ojo, revealed that the new Toyota Hiace vehicle was assembled in the company’s plant in Lagos. He said it was built with 30,000-unit production capacity every year.
According to him, the Hiace was assembled as a test case as the firm looks forward to a mass production in coming months.
This breakthrough is coming just after two and a half years after the announcement of the Automotive Industry Development Plan by Nigeria’s federal government, which raised the import duty on cars from 22 per cent to 70 per cent in order to discourage vehicle importation.