Nigeria’s quest to become the automotive hub for Africa has received a major boost with the launch of the all new, made in Nigeria 2019 Honda HR-V, driven all the way from Otta in Ogun State to Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory.
This development is coming as the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said it will continue to roll out initiatives that will industrialize Nigeria, create jobs and opportunities and ensure the transfer of skills and technology to Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja when he received the new Honda HR-V fully made in Nigeria, the Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu (MFR), said the council will soon commence the implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Bill, (NAIDP) once it has been reviewed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NADDC director general said the council would continue to develop and implement policies that will develop the automotive sector in Nigeria and put it on the global economic map.
According to Aliyu, The Nigerian government through the NADDC is working to accelerate the process of gradual transition from the importation of used cars to the manufacture and distribution of new passenger vehicles, alongside providing a conducive legislative environment that will encourage the manufacturing of motor vehicles in Nigeria.
He decried that the country spends more than 8 billion dollars annually importing used vehicles into the country, adding that practice was not sustainable for the economic growth and development of Nigeria, while maintaining that the gradual reduction of imported used cars is critical to the success of the Nigerian automotive industry as this will open the market for new cars made in Nigeria.
To ensure the sustainability of the incoming auto boom in Nigeria, the director general said NADDC was already working to launch a new auto finance fund to enable more Nigerians to acquire new cars and corporate/commercial organizations re-fleet their pool with new vehicles.
The availability of consumer financing will be another benefit, as there will be fast and competitive logistics from harbour to trucking; including efficient administrative processes, particularly involving the Customs, he explained.
According to him, massive job creation, marketing programme, standard, human capital development, local content development and carbon emission reduction/elimination are other areas that the NADDC has worked on to ensure the success and sustainability of the expected boom in Nigeria’s automotive sector.
“The development of automotive laboratories as provided for in the plant for safety tests are now at 70 percent completion stage. There is the material test lab in Zaria, the component test lab in Enugu and the emission test lab in Lagos”, Aliyu added.
According to him, NADDC is also working closely with global auto manufacturers like Nissan, Toyota, BMW and Ford amongst others to ensure that wholly Nigerian produced vehicles quickly become a reality.
”The council will also consolidate on providing support, technical expertise and direction to the industry, including to indigenous vehicles manufacturers like Innoson, in order to fastrack the process of achieving the mandate of the council for the sustainable development of the automotive industry in Nigeria”, he explained.
“The council’s focus and commitment remains on initiating policies, implementing strategies and bringing in world class approaches that will make Nigeria become and remain the center for automotive development in Africa”, he said.
On his part, the Managing Director of Honda Automobiles West Africa, Mr. Akihiro Daido said The HR-V presence marks the entry level SUV from the Honda Range into the Nigerian automotive market.
He said the Honda HR-V combines luxury with affordability that will delight Nigerian customers.
“Now the Nigerian Customer can experience the Power of our three SUVs; Honda Pilot 3.5litre, CR-V 2.4Litre and now the HR-V 1.8Litre.
“The Hi-Rider Revolutionary- Vehicle (HR-V) 5 seater vehicle is proudly assembled in Nigeria with keen adherence to the Honda global production standards during the assembly process. The Honda HR-V has been positioned as a fun and sporty SUV which has been designed to change the industry norm”, Daido explained.
Speaking in the same vein, the Lead, Sales and Marketing of Honda Automobiles West Africa, Mr. Remi Adams, said the new HR-V receives exterior styling that expands its appeal to the millennial.
“The grille is enhanced by a new interpretation of the flying wing rendered in dark chrome and extending over the new projector-style headlights. Under the chrome band, the grille opening has been restyled to emphasize a wide look, and the fog light housings have been enlarged to help give HR-V a more aggressive stance.
“Also in the front is a sporty front bumper that gives it an elegant yet rugged look combined with LED headlights and Fog lights. In the rear, Taillights with Integrated LED Light Bars give the HR-V a distinctive, sporty look. New to the SUV-B segment is the Panoramic Sunroof, in the EX grade, making the HR-V deliver the feel of a larger sporty SUV ready for the next adventure. The All New HR-V is flanked by 16” alloy wheels for the Fabric grade and 17” Alloy wheels for the Leather grade”, Adams added.