Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) is fast becoming a household name in Nigeria. It is the first indigenous automobile manufacturing company in the country. Although the brand has been in existence since 2007, its popularity shot up recently following heightened publicity including the recent controversy about its SUV being preferred to Prado’s by members of the Anambra State Assembly.
At the center of all this, is the brain behind the indigenous brand – Innocent Chukwuma Ifediaso. As the automobile brand continues to soar, there has been curiosity among people about the owner. In light of this, Naijauto puts the spotlight on the man blazing the trail in the Nigerian automotive industry.
Read along to know about Innoson biography, net worth and more.
BBNaija season 4 winner, Mercy, won an IVM SUV as part of her prizes
Innocent Chukwuma Ifediaso was born in a small town called Uru-Umudim – Nnewi in Anambra State, South-East Nigeria in 1961. His father, Chukwuma Mojekwu, was a civil servant while his mother, Martina Chukwuma, was a stay-at-home wife. He is the last child among the six children of his parents.
Growing up in Uru-Umudim, he had his primary and secondary education in the town. As a young chap, his ambition was to become a professional engineer. It was no surprise to his family when he applied for an Engineering degree at the university when he was done with secondary school. Unfortunately, his dream was dashed as he scored below the cut of mark set by the university.
Dr. Innocent (left) and Oba Akanbi - the Olowu of Iwo land
While he awaited admission into university, Innoson as he is popularly called, was helping out at his elder brother’s medicine store. Having familiarized himself with the business, he fell in love with trading.
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With no university admission to proceed his education, Innoson decided to make the best out of the situation. Instead of sitting back and while away time, he decided to give trading a shot. In view of this, his elder brother, Gabriel, took him to one Chief Romanus Eze Onwuka – a renowned business man. He signed up for a one-year apprenticeship to master the art of trading.
IVM supplied some vans to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)
Innoson journey into entrepreneurship
Chief Romanus Eze Onwuka was a big-time dealer in motorcycle spare parts. During the period of his apprenticeship, Innoson was diligent – learning as much as he could. By the end of the one-year program, he had become knowledgeable about motorcycle parts. With his mission completed, he went back to his elder brother, Gabriel.
Around this time, Gabriel had made arrangements for the registration of a business – Gabros International. The business was established for the buying and selling of motorcycle parts. Seeing that Innoson had learned the trade, Gabriel handed it over to him with a startup capital of ₦3,000. He secured a small store for his new venture and got his first set of goods.
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Innoson group of companies
After doing business with his brother Gabriel for some time, Innoson launched out on his own in 1981, selling Honda motorcycle parts. With some cash given to him by Gabriel, he flagged off Innoson Nigeria Limited, importing motorcycles from abroad.
Innoson Motors was commissioned by our former President, Goodluck Jonathan
Soon, the business-savvy fellow realized that brand-new motorcycles were not being bought so much. Most people preferred going for their second-hand counterparts which were more affordable. With only 40 motorcycles being able to fit into a container of 40ft, the importation cost contributed to the high cost. He decided to have the motorcycles disassembled before being shipped down to Nigeria. As a result of this, there was room for as much as 200 motorcycles in the same container. With this, he was able to sell his motorcycles at a cheaper rate, beating the competition.
Innoson automobile manufacturing
To this day, the serial entrepreneur is mostly recognized for establishing the first automobile brand in Nigeria. This became a reality after he observed that the market for motorcycles was saturated in Nigeria. In addition to this, most states had started placing a ban on motorcycles because it was a tool used by criminals for their operations. He decided to go into automobiles in order to cater to a larger market.
This bus is proudly made by IVM
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Innoson vehicle manufacturing
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) was officially established in 2007. The company was commissioned by Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan. Products manufactured by IVM include cars, mini buses, city buses, garbage collection vehicles and pick-up trucks among others. The company also deals in spare parts supply and offers repair services.
IVM is one of the subsidiaries under Innoson Group of Companies. Others include:
- Innoson Nigeria Limited
- Innoson Technical & Industrial Co. Limited
- Innoson General Tyres and Tubes Co. Limited
Inside a manufacture factory of Innoson Motors
Innoson net worth
There are speculations about Innoson’s net worth. While the figured cannot be authoritatively confirmed, he is said to be worth about $1.5 billion dollars, equivalent to around 542 billion naira.
Innocent Chukwuma Ifediaso is recognized for his contributions to not just the Nigerian automotive industry but to the society at large. As more people continue to clamor for Made-In-Nigeria products, the future is bright FOR IVM products.
Innocent shares about his Made-in-Nigeria cars