Nigerian indigenous car maker, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM), says plans are underway to establish another manufacturing plant in Owerri, Imo.
Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman, Innoson Group, made the disclosure when he received members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondents’ Chapel, on a facility tour of his plant in Nnewi, Anambra on Friday.
Chukwuma said that the current expansion effort was to actualise the group’s mission to become a giant in vehicle manufacturing in Africa by serving the country’s and continent’s vehicle needs.
“The Innoson factory expansion will be situated at Naze Owerri in Imo. We have already acquired about 150,000sqm land for this project and construction works are ongoing,” he said.
He appreciated the media for their continual support and partnership with his organisation.
Also speaking, Mr Cornel Osigwe, Head, Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, who led the group round the facility, expressed excitement over Gov. Charles Soludo’s endorsement of Innoson vehicle as the official vehicle for Anambra.
Osigwe said that the endorsement by Gov. Soludo showed the durability and capacity of the made in Nigeria vehicle.
“Gov. 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 organisations 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,” he said.
Osigwe said the company was currently migrating from manual production to a fully automated production plant.
“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,” he said.
Earlier in his address, Mr Emmanuel Ilozue, chairman of the chapel, said the visit was to strengthen media partnership with the group.
“You are breaking grounds in the automobile industry and contributing to the economy of the state and country at large. It is commendable and worthy of emulation.
“We are here on this facility tour to see and get firsthand information on your entrepreneurial activities to help the media educate and inspire residents of the state,” Ilozue said.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of award of recognition as ‘Craftsman Per Excellent’ to the company by the council.