Indigenous automobile manufacturer, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Company, has as part of its expansion drive, announced plans to establish another manufacturing plant in Owerri, Imo State.
The current expansion effort by the Innoson Group is to actualize its mission to become a giant in vehicle manufacturing in Africa by serving the country’s and continent’s vehicle needs.
This was made known by the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, when he received members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, on a facility tour of his plant in Nnewi, Anambra on Friday.
Chukwuma who noted that the group has already acquired about 150,000sqm land for this project appreciated the media for their continual support and partnership with his organization.
He said, “The Innoson factory expansion will be situated at Naze Owerri in Imo state. We have already acquired about 150,000sqm land for this project and construction works are ongoing.’’
Speaking at the occasion, the Head, Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Mr. Cornel Osigwe, expressed excitement over Governor Charles Soludo’s endorsement of the Innoson vehicle as the official vehicle for Anambra state, which shows the durability and capacity of the made in Nigeria vehicle.
Osigwe said, “Governor Soludo is the first governor to use Innoson vehicles as official vehicle and we are hopeful that such endorsement will increase patronage from other state governments, corporate organizations, and other well-meaning Nigerians.
“Presently, IVM is producing vehicles for about five countries in Africa including Sierra Leone, Mali, Congo, and Côte d’Ivoire.’’
Osigwe said that the group will increase its vehicle manufacturing capacity from 10,000 vehicles annually to 60,000 vehicles annually after migrating from a manual production plant to a fully automated production plant.
He said, “The manual production plant has the capacity to produce about 10,000 vehicles annually but at the completion of the migration to a fully automated production plant, it will have the capacity to produce about 60,000 annually.’’
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited. (Commonly shortened to IVM) is a Nigerian automobile manufacturer headquartered in Nnewi, Anambra State and was founded by Chief Innocent Chukwuma Nwala.
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing is regarded as the largest indigenous automobile manufacturing firm and produces 70% of the car parts locally, while the rest is sourced from Japan, China, and Germany.
The newly sworn-in Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, became the first Nigerian State Governor to use an Innoson vehicle as an official car.
Recall, Innoson reacted when FG order him to relocate the manufacturing plant to Lagos, Kaduna in order not to lose his license
The founder of Innoson Vehicles, Innocent Chukwuma, has reacted to the purported presidential order which directed him to relocate his Vehicle manufacturing plant to the Southwest or Northern part of Nigeria if he doesn’t want to lose his operating license.
It was alleged that the Federal Government instructed Innoson to relocate the company’s plant to Lagos or Kaduna to keep his license. However, according to the company, the founder isn’t under any pressure from President Muhammad Buhari-led’s administration.
A statement by Innoson through its Head Corporate Communications, Cornel Osigwe, refuted the claim, stating that the company did not receive such an order. Innoson said it would have remained silent and disregarded the claim, but that could be perceived as an affirmation of the directive.
According to the statement, the spread of such a claim was the ‘handwork of mischief-makers, and this prompted the company to set the record straight and portray the true event which is the fact the government or any of its agencies has never requested that Innoson move its manufacturing plant from Nnewi, Anambra state.
Innoson said it had instead received policy support from FG, citing the Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park as an example. The Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park was initiated to support the automobile parts manufacturing companies.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the statement and the publication in its entirety which appears to have gone viral on most social media platforms, knowing fully well that this is the handwork of mischief makers, but in a nation where silence may be seen as an admission of the truth, we have been constrained to come out to officially ask the public to disregard it and set the record straight.
“There has never been any order and there will never be any order either from the Federal Government or its agencies to Innoson Vehicles to relocate his Vehicle Manufacturing Plant which is based in Nnewi to Lagos, Kaduna, or any other place.
“Innoson Vehicles has continually maintained a robust relationship with the Federal Government specifically under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. For example, under this present administration, Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park was initiated to support automobile parts manufacturing companies to come together and deliver support https://twitter.com/cornelosigwe/status/1186633260996141056services, vehicle components, and raw materials required by the teeming automobile manufacturing companies in Nigeria. A major benefit of this initiative is Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing.”
If Innoson moves the company’s manufacturing plant from Anambra to Lagos or Kaduna, the State will lose job opportunities expected to be created by the plant. While the number of employees of Innoson is not known, the company contributes greatly to the employment market. In addition, revenue expected to be generated by Anambra State Government from such investment will be lost to another State.
With the focus gradually swaying towards Nigerian-made products, the company is well-positioned to benefit from the Buy-Naija-to-grow-Naira initiative. Also, the residents of the State where Innoson’s manufacturing plant is located will enjoy job opportunities.
While Nigerians have been criticizing the government and its agencies for patronizing foreign-made vehicles instead of supporting Nigerian-made vehicles, Innoson said it does enjoy patronage from the government.
“Innoson Vehicles has continually enjoyed patronage from the Federal Government and its agencies; specifically, The Nigerian Military, The Police Force, Federal Road Safety Commission, Fire Service, Immigration and lots more.
“Innoson Vehicles is in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force for the development and promotion of joint activities to sustain the maintenance of the Nigerian Air Force Air Assets and other associated Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) to enable the Nigerian Air Force to continuously carry out its constitutional obligations to the Nation. Equally, it is also in collaboration with the Nigerian Army Authority for the local manufacture and supply of Armoured and Bullet-Proof Vehicles.”