Chairman of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Limited, (IVM), Mr. Innocent Chukwuma has expressed optimism that the company would take over the Africa market in the nearest future.
He made the declaration during a parley with journalists in Nnewi, Anambra State.
Chukwuma said the company was looking ahead to being a producer of vehicles for use in the African continent as a whole, a development he said would reduce pressure on the country’s foreign exchange (forex) demand.
He said he had expanded his scope of production to a wide range of vehicles which include SUVs, wagons, commuter buses, among others.
“I need to correct one impression. While a lot of automobile companies in the country are assembly plants, ours is a manufacturing plant. We source most of our components locally. And that is the edge we have over others. If I see a local company that will add value to what we are doing through production of components, I will patronize them.
“My plans for the next five years is to see IVM everywhere in Africa.”
He further stated that, “Challenges can never stop; people will always have challenges day by day, but the most important thing is that each time it comes up, we put heads together and surmount it. I don’t think there is a challenge we will see and not surmount.
“Our driving force is ideas; it is not about volume of investments, if ideas are there, you can use small money to do big things.”
He added that the staff strength of the Innoson Group was now well over 7200, with the IVM accounting for 1700 staff members.
Chukwuma hailed former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi for supporting the growth of local businesses, adding that Gov. Obiano had also been supportive.
He disclosed that as Governor, “Mr. Peter Obi placed orders for 500 SUVs, 700 buses and 500 pick-up vans and that helped us a lot because he does not owe, he paid in advance.”
He observed that the emphasis on industrial clusters by the Gov. Obiano administration had also helped in the area of power sector, adding that “it is also an opportunity for people to produce more components for me; that will help.”
“However, it should be noted that this industry is not only for governors but everybody. Everybody should know that Innoson Vehicles are manufactured in Nigeria; let everybody see it as our own thing,” said.
The Innoson Chairman also expressed happiness over the victory of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo in the recently conducted Anambra State Governorship election, describing it as “a huge blessing and gift to Anambra people.”