clues pointÂ that United States automaker Ford Motor Company has suspended its planned exportation of 500 units of vehicles meant for the Nigerian market owing to the current economic recession.
The vehicles assembled in its South African factory and completed all arrangements to ship them to Nigeria before halting the decision.
This piece of information was disclosed by Prof. Okey Iheduru who said it was as a result of the Coscharis Group, its local representative, not being able to accommodate them.
Mr. Abiona Babarinde, the General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Services, Coscharis Group, who confirmed this in an emailed to the pressâ€™s enquiry, attributed the development to â€œforex-related issues.â€
He said the vehicles were â€œto be imported as SKD (semi-knocked down) kits for (auto) assembly but got stuck in South Africa because of slow sale of what we already have in stock in Nigeria.â€
Recently, ford ended its business relationship with one of its two partners in Nigeria, RT Briscoe, leaving only Coscharis Motors as its sole representative in the country.
A statement from the Ford Motor Company of Sub-Saharan Africa blamed the current situation on tough economic climate arising from the fall in oil prices, foreign exchange shortages and rapid devaluation of the naira was adversely affecting its operation in the region, including Nigeria.
The statement via spokesperson, Chipo Punungwe, read in part, â€œWe continue to work through a tough economic environment in the sub-Saharan African region, including various economic factors such as lower oil prices, foreign exchange shortages and the rapid devaluation of local currencies, which have led to higher than normal inventory levels.â€
Both assemblers and dealers have logged complaint about a drastic drop in vehicle sale this year due to recession, some had to lay off some of their workers as their annual capacity utilisation had dropped by 97 per cent, from 500,000 to 15,000 vehicles.
The 15,000 new vehicles currently being produced in the country are less than what Toyota Nigeria Limited alone sold in 12 months some years ago.
With regards to the economic situation, Ford said it would continue to work with its partner, the Coscharis Group, to deliver quality vehicles and improved auto service to its customers in Nigeria.
it stated â€œWith Coscharis, we will continue to manage our business, review and optimise the movement of stock to ensure that we have a sufficient supply of vehicles to fulfil customersâ€™ needs,â€.