International auto show opens in Nigeria's economic hub

GMT 05:36 2016 Saturday ,30 April

Arab Today, arab today International auto show opens in Nigeria's economic hub

The 11th Lagos International Automobile Exhibition
Lagos - XINHUA

The 11th Lagos International Automobile Exhibition opened since Thursday, featuring the participation of all major car brands.

Up to 100 new car models were displayed in the auto show, which attracted auto businesses from countries such as Germany, the United States, Japan, India, China, France and Nigeria.

Chinese automaker Beiqi Foton Nigeria's Manager Feng Baoquan told Xinhua that his firm integrates leading global technologies to manufacture vehicles that meet world standards.

He said Foton's partner in Nigeria, Leventis Motors has an assembly plant in southwest city of Ibadan and can assemble Foton vehicles up to 1, 000 capacity.

"We help them to train the local workers in various areas," he added.

The company's Brand Manager, Temitope Falode, who spoke on the characteristics of the models, said Chinese brands are increasingly being recognized by Nigerian consumers.

On his part, a spokesperson for Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN) Nura Idris Maska told Xinhua that the company came to the fair to showcase the locally assembled automobiles assembled in the PAN northern Kaduna plant.

He said the nation's automobile industry had the potential to generate over thousands of jobs opportunities.

The exhibition, which is to run until May 4, features environmental awareness, advanced technology and fashion in the auto industry, the organizers said.

Initiated in 2005, the Lagos International Automobile Exhibition has become an important platform for world's leading automakers to tap the markets of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.

Nigeria plans to raise the portion of local manufacturing in the automotive industry to 80 percent by 2023 as the country seeks to cut imports and diversify the economy away from oil.

The West African nation plans to assemble 500,000 vehicles per year over the next five years, compared with 10,000 units in 2014, after awarding 36 companies a production license.

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to diversify the nation's oil-dependent economy, which has suffered as crude prices plunged by more than 50 percent since June last year.

Nigeria will allow car producers to import two fully-built units at a discount duty of 35 percent for cars and 20 percent for commercial vehicles for every one built locally.

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