Importers of used vehicles and spare parts have shifted to the United States as import hit N179.4 billion between 2018 and 2019. The import was 42.6 per cent of the total vehicles and parts brought into the country during the period. The United States Census Bureau (USCB) report revealed that most of the vehicles imported from the United States into Nigeria were Japanese brands with Toyota at the top of the chart, while Hyundai and Kia have established themselves as serious competitors.
Although vehicles and related components are not on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s list of 42 products not eligible for foreign exchange, but in 2018, USCB report noted that United States exported over $134 million worth of vehicle parts and accessories to Nigeria, including fuel and oil additives, as well as auto body repair products.
Within the period, a total of N417.66 billion used vehicles were shipped into the country between March 2018 and 2019. This is coming as the launch of the Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) 2014 has not achieved the purpose for which it was established, even though the Nigerian Automotive Council (NAC) has licensed 35 companies to produce cars under the NAIDP, yet the number of locally assembled units remains very low. Just last week, 10 vessels laden with 4,287 units of used vehicles arrived at Tincan Port.
They include Hoegh Singapore laden with 450 Units and Hoegh Berlin,187units, however, it was learnt the third vessel, Hoegh Xiamen, laden with 4,900 units of used vehicles, was gutted by fire on its way to Tincan and other West African ports. Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping data revealed that the 5 Star Logistic Terminal in Tincan Island Port had taken delivery of 400 units of used vehicles from MV Gracious Ace. Other vessels, which have berthed at the Port and Terminal Multi-service Limited (PTML) are Grande Senegal, 350 Units; Grande Atlantico,400 units; Grande Nigeria, 300 units; Grande Africa, 400 units; Grande Buenos Airees, 400 units; Grande Cotonou, 400 units; Grande Gabon, 300 units; Rep Argentina, 300 units And Lapis Arrow, 400 units. The three Asian brands account for up to half of new vehicle sales in the country. Although there is generally little affinity for American car brands due to consumer poor perception of them, the Ford Explorer is fast gaining patronage due to its aesthetic design and reliability.
It would be recalled that no fewer than 16 vessels laden with 6,150 used vehicles berthed at the port after they have been quarantined. The vessels include Grande Ghana, 300 units; Hoegh Singapore,450 units; Grande Dakar, 400 units; Rep Argentina, 300 units; Grande Sierra Leone, 300 units; Grande Senegal, 350 units; Grande Lagos, 400 units; Grande Cameroun, 300 units; Grande Luanda, 400 units andGrande Costa D Avoiro, 350 units. Others are Grande Cotonou, 400 units; Rep Del Brasile, 300 units; Grande Congo, 350 units; Grande Abidjan,450 units; Grande Guinea, 300 units and Grande Tema, 400 units.