Nigerians used to love the Peugeot brand
Once upon a time in the most renowned west African country, the Peugeot brand were the kings of the automobile industry, their impressive vehicles ruled for several decades, keeping the elites who could afford them happy and proud. Suddenly everything changed, slowly they began fading away, with numerous other brands gaining more popularity. One of such is the Japanese car brand, Toyota, currently the leading brand in the country and the most profitable worldwide. But why Toyota, not Peugeot?
Back in the 1960s, the Peugeot brand was the most respected and reputable brand nationwide, at some point, it became the official car brand of the Nigerian government. Let's see some of the reasons why it was well sought after.
You could hate the Peugeot only because you couldn't afford it
One of the reasons why the Peugeot brand made gusty sales in Nigeria was because of how reliable they were. The first models of the Peugeot brand that arrived in Nigeria are still driven in many places across the country.
In fact, some people we jokingly refer to as "Old School" in local parlance still proudly cruise the 504 and 505 models around town, to the utmost amusement and sometimes disdain of an evenly divided crowd. This speaks volumes about the Peugeot brand reputation, especially its reliability rating.
Numerous surveys and technical studies have been conducted on various brands in relation to their reliability index and the Peugeot brand models rank high even for discontinued models like the 504 and 505.
In fact, the Peugeot brand ranks as the 14th most reliable brand on the reliability index, which is a good tad above the industrial average. Clearly, the Peugeot brand did not just provide attractive vehicles but also reliable ones.
Check out this short review of the 1987 Peugeot 505 model:
1987 Peugeot 505 V6 Motorweek Review
Another reason why the Peugeot brand was quite popular then, was because of the ease at which owners could maintain it. The brand produced vehicles that could be easily repaired, hence spending less time off the road.
The brands had common and easily found parts (as a result of the assembly plants that were operated in the country then), which means finding replacements for faulty parts wasn't so much of a problem. These parts were not only common but also cheap, which was a major reason for its easy maintenance.
However, things began to go south for the Peugeot brand in the country, as it began losing grounds to other brands assembling cars outside the country.
The Peugeot brand of cars became a part of Nigerian history
Here is why Toyota
As decades passed, the popularity of the Peugeot brand in the Nigerian market slowly ebbed away. It gradually became a legacy.
Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) started facing difficulties in the late 1970s as a result of the Nigerian government providing inadequate market protection for local plants and other series of policies that weren't in favour of the brand. This was by far the biggest blow they faced.
As a result of this, coupled with the low patronage from Nigeria, the Peugeot brand began incurring lots of debt and by 2011, it lost most of its stakes.
In 2017, statistics show that more than 11 million vehicles were driven on Nigerian roads, attaining an annual growth of 0.78%. This is ultimately clear proof that while the Peugeot brand went down, the love and desire for vehicles didn't follow along.
Today, in Nigeria a vast majority of automobile users and mechanics have lost total interest in the Peugeot brand especially the Peugeot 406 and 607, because of how difficult their maintenance has become.
Their situation was not helped by Toyota's determination to enter and conquer the Nigerian market. Somehow, Toyota won this war even as a foreign brand, with the assistance of their numerous distributors back then.
So far the brand has rewarded Nigerians with amazing vehicles such as the Highlander, Corolla, Lexus, and many other incredible vehicles.
Let's now highlight some of the reasons why the Toyota brand has attained so much love and patronage from the usually unpredictable and even volatile Nigerian auto market, which used to belong to Peugeot.
The role of vehicle design is not only the creation of something stylish but something that'll satisfy automobile users.
When Toyota arrived in Nigeria in the 1950s, it came with a vehicle design that offered something enticingly different from what the Peugeot offered. It didn't take such a long time for Nigerians to catch the hook and before long, the interest in these glossy vehicles offered by Toyota was the darling of the people.
And then Toyota found a way into our hearts
Despite being so amazing and intriguing, Toyota vehicles are quite affordable too, implying that the elites in the society are not the only ones who can get them, even average Nigerians who saved a good deal can also afford one.
The availability and reliability of replacement parts of various Toyota models have been a big contributing factor in the Toyota brand's dominance in the market.
As the assembly plants and factories of the PAN reached near-total closure, finding the spare parts for Peugeot vehicles in the country became so much of a challenge with several owners of older models of the Peugeot brand having to abandon the vehicles and shift focus to other brands.
Toyota, on the other hand, has kept everything simple, all system mechanisms are kept basic. The motive behind this was to reduce the cost of production and produce cheaper but efficient cars.
The availability of parts and the technical know-how required in working these cars also made it a lot easier for the Toyota brand to succeed. It is extremely rare to find a mechanic who cannot perform the basic repair of a Toyota vehicle.
>>> Guys check out How Toyota Corolla became the best selling car in Nigeria
And Toyota doesn't plan on letting go of the top spot
The Nigerian market has been one of the most profitable for these car brands, considering the ever-increasing population. It is no surprise that many brands even the luxury brands like Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc all struggle for a share of the Nigerian market.
Having looked at the detailed transition from the Peugeot brand to the Toyota brand, it is very clear that design, affordability, and maintenance are key aspects in which a brand must improve in order to grab the attention of many in Nigeria. We hope that you now understand Why Toyota, not Peugeot which dominates the Nigerian auto market.
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