Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Aminu Jalal, said local assemblers of vehicles contributed 75,000 units to Nigeria’s automobile market in 2015.
Jalal, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the figure represented 75 per cent of estimated 100,000 new vehicles that made it into the market during the period.
“Last year, the assembling plants did over 75,000 vehicles, made up of both locally assembled units and concessionary imports.
“You know that assembly plants are not only producing, but are also importing fully built units (FBUs) as an incentive as provided by the auto policy.
“This means that they supplied 75 per cent of the estimated 100,000 new vehicles that entered the market in 2015,’’ he said.
The auto policy allows local assemblers to import FBUs at 35 per cent duty without levy for cars, and 20 per cent duty without levy for commercial vehicles.
The concessionary FBU import is in proportion to their local production, while the tariff on those inputs will increase as local manufacturing capacity strengthens.
Jalal predicted a drop in local production output in 2016 as a result of the current foreign exchange scarcity, which he identified as the major challenge facing the sector.
“A lot of the assembly plants are minimising their operations because they are finding it difficult to source foreign exchange to import their raw materials.
“This is the major challenge we are currently facing, but you know it is not limited to the auto industry; all manufacturers are affected.’’
The NADDC director-general said that implementation of the auto policy was on track notwithstanding the foreign exchange challenge.
“We have more new companies coming up. For instance, Ford started test assembly last December; Toyota also did a test assembly of Hiace bus.
“Early this year, Perfection Motors opened a plant to assemble FAW trucks in Lagos, and CFAO Motors commissioned a plant to assemble Mitsubishi buses. The implementation is on track,’’ he said.