By Kingsley Alu
Barely three months after delivering the made-in-Nigeria Nissan range of vehicles, the Stallion Group has delivered yet again on another promise — the manufacturing and assembling of Hyundai range of vehicles.
The chairman of the Stallion Goup, Mr Sunil Vaswani, who broke the news yesterday promised that the new vehicles “will be affordably priced,” in order to give Nigerians a break from the strangle-hold of wholesale vehicle importers.
The made-in-Nigeria Hyundai vehicles are being assembled at the Hyundai motor plant in Lagos.
Some of the Hyundai passenger cars which are priced between NGN1.5m and NGN1.9m are i10, Grand, Accent, Elantra and iX35, while in the truck and bus segments the 10-ton HD160, seven-ton HD 120, five-ton HD78 and three-ton HD65 as well as 28+1-seater Hyundai County bus and 30-seater Stallion County bus are now being supplied to the market.
The West African conglomerate, the Stallion Group-owned multi-vehicle assembly plant, had in July announced the commencement of locally produced Hyundai range of vehicles having inaugurated and rolled out the first set of made-in-Nigeria Nissan automobiles in April. Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited (HMNL) plant managing director Tokunbo Aromolaran said the vehicles are certified to the world’s highest automotive operating standard – ISO/TS 16949.
“ISO/TS 16949 is the highest automotive operating standard in the world and its benefits include improved quality processes at the facility along with streaming supply chains both leading to a better overall product,” he explained.
The plant had supported its ambitious growth plans by prioritising the need for a faster and more efficient environment to facilitate concurrent product development and support a rapidly changing requirement for a vehicle programme, Aromolaran affirmed. He said: “Today we are glad to inform Nigerians that we have delivered on our promise to make available affordably priced vehicles – thanks to strong-willed President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the indefatigable supervisory roles of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment headed by Dr Olusegun Aganga.”
The plant director added that the first phase of delivery, which has already begun, establishes a system of record for the complete vehicle programme which will gradually be expanded to meet the ever-increasing demands for functional vehicles in Nigeria.
“Prospective customers can now walk into any of our dealership showrooms nationwide to buy value-driven made-in-Nigeria Hyundai certified vehicles. Hyundai i10, Grand, Xcent and Elantra are elegantly crafted functional cars with eye-popping styling, good fuel economy, and fantastic driving experience with modest starting price that is affordable to every desiring buyer,” Aromolaran assured.
Parvir Singh, group managing director, Stallion Automobile Division, who received the made-in-Nigeria Hyundai vehicles on behalf of the sales & marketing division of Hyundai Motors Nigeria, described the achievement as a milestone in the history of Nigeria’s automotive industry.
He later announced starting price of NGN1.594m for the Hyundai i10 and NGN1.990 for the Grand, urging customers to take advantage of the price and drive a certified made-in-Nigeria Hyundai car.
Mr Singh oversees the sales, marketing and dealer development arms of the Hyundai Motors Nigeria and he is responsible for creative and imaginative marketing strategies to develop new and existing customer sales and brand support.
Stallion Motors dealers in Lagos, Warri, Asaba, Anambra and Abakaliki have also commended the initiative, saying that this would expand customers’ options of below N2 million range of vehicles.