Innosson Motors Nigeria, founded by Innocent Chukwuma, a Nigerian with big dreams and net worth, is the only indigenous Motor vehicle manufacturer in the history of Nigeria.
This sounds like a very big deal; actually, it is a big deal. Nigeria is the biggest consumer of automobiles in Nigeria after South Africa and based on history, Nigeria at different times has been home to reputable automobile assembling. Peugeot, Nissan, Honda, Isuzu, JAC, Hyundai and KIA Motors have been assembled in Nigeria (Honda just newly joined the club).
Innoson cars gliding on a Nigerian expressway
Have you ever wondered why Nigerians don't buy Innoson? Since 2007 when Innoson started its production, there are still more Toyota Hilux cars in Nigeria than the Innoson Carrier, tragic. I have looked into the matter carefully just to come up with a couple of viable reasons why the Innoson brand has not done well in Nigeria in 13 years since it started.
Please, note that many reputable automobile companies in the world today took quality time to get to where they are today. Innoson has been consistent for 13 years and that is the right step in the right direction. So, my few points are just to make you see what I think Innoson should do better so that they can get to the level of Toyota in Nigeria.
7 reasons why Innoson Motors is not being appreciated by Nigerians!
1. 85 percent Borrowed Designs
Innoson Motors have designs that just look so much alike like some of our popular and favourite brands. It is somehow when a car design just already screams '' photocopy".
The Innoson G80, for example, is a rebadged BIAC BJ80 that looks so much like a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon thus making the G80 an Innoson G-Wagon. Other designs just look like a refined-looking already existing car brand. This is a common problem of "Nigerian brands": lack of indigenous designs.
A perfect example of the borrowed design issue
The new Innoson SUV Ikenga looks totally like a Lexus RX from the front fascia and this just makes Nigerian buyers see the car like a caricature of their favourite brands. The new Innoson bus also looks too much like the Toyota Hiace and rebadged Toyota Hiace caricature from China.
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2. The production process is not fully indigenous
Nigerians do not feel part of the production of this car at all. It is like it just has the Innoson name but the production does not occur here at all.
The Company factory is located in Enugu doesn't employ so many people. There is a new plant that assembles Innoson cars but they are not fully manufacturing and assembling parts here.
Plus, a lot of the parts are being shipped into the country.
The Innoson Umu for Nigeria!
In the future, Innoson as a car manufacturer should work on local manufacturing plants for most of the parts it needs for production and stop writing local production in newspapers without doing it in reality.
3. The lower quality build doesn't survive the Nigerian condition
A typical car that will survive in Nigeria needs to be designed for Nigeria.
Innoson uses Chinese manufacturing processes that produce cars to last just 2-3 years even when exposed to very smooth roads and optimal driving conditions.
This is Nigeria, where almost every car goes on bad roads because of how bad the road network of Nigeria is. How could Chinese material and quality survive such conditions?
Interior of an Innoson SUV; looks luxurious but it is not a luxury car
Innoson should design cars that have suspension systems close to German cars, bodies like American cars, and Interior with higher quality materials. The interior needs to be able to withstand the Nigerian sun and also have more technologies that have been developed for Nigeria.
4. No quality review anywhere on the internet or Tv
Every car company that hasn't gone mainstream yet works hard on a PR scheme that will constantly put out good words about all their car brands. Video reviews, Influencer ambassadorships, and indigenous ad campaigns.
I have seen a couple but none has left me a thirst for an Innoson model. Even the brand ambassador 'Mercy Eke' doesn't drive her Innoson SUV anywhere!.
Mercy proudly showing off her Benz while keeping the Innoson in captivity
The 2002 Honda Accord was nicknamed the "End of Discussion" because of the tagline that was used in the ad campaign when the car came out. I mean, the 2001 Honda Accord was used in a Tyrese Gibson movie "Baby Boy" and this name stuck forever.
There are a lot of ways Innoson can take advantage of the media at large to promote the brand. There was a time a Nigerian designed a new Innoson Motors logo and it went viral just because of the media. I think it's a good way of promoting the brand! Innoson should take this seriously!
Put people in an Innoson bus and drive long-distance within Nigeria while filming is an idea that can work but Innoson needs to contact me for the full idea (*winks*).
5. Government is not supporting the right way
The Government of Nigeria is meant to be the biggest supporter of the Innoson brand in Nigeria. The Nigerian Presidential convoy is filled with fancy Mercedes-Benz luxury cars while in America, the Cadillac is the official car for American presidents from time. Hongqi is the official state's vehicle for China also.
FRSC of Anambra got 77 Innoson carriers for patrol
You have to support your own so that the people can trust the brand. I was sad when the Nigerian House of Reps rejected Innoson cars and wanted Toyotas instead. It is a Tit for Tat thing. If Innoson cars can confidently compete with the rivals then maybe the Government will totally soak up the idea of making Innoson the official car of the Nigerian Government.
6. No financial aids by Innoson for Nigerians to buy the car
There should be a plan in place for average Nigerians to buy Innsoson cars and pay conveniently over a duration of months. This is how iPhones work in Canada and America.
If Innoson does this, Nigerians would feel the need to buy one just because we know we can own a car with maybe just a hundred thousand nairas.
7. No Service centres in Nigeria
People often ask the question "if I buy the latest Innoson cars, where will I service it ?". It is a Nigerian made car for heaven's sake and you should be able to easily service it in Nigeria.
In Japan, brands like Honda and Toyota have local parts manufacturers everywhere just because the car is being made in the country.
A practical Fire Truck by Innoson
If Innoson can make people realize that their cars are the easiest and cheapest to maintain in Nigeria, then maybe we can start buying the record-breaking cars from Enugu.
All that I have highlighted here would probably be on Innoson's development plan and I cannot wait for them to come to the level of Kia and Hyundai in the automobile industry while carrying the whole country along. This will make the Innoson brand be a national treasure and why Nigerians don't buy Innoson cars won't ever be a question anymore!
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