The Nissan Group of Africa has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as other African countries to increase import tariffs and duties on grey vehicle imports and also used automobiles in order to accelerate the development of automotive industry and their industrialisation programmes.
Nissan’s Director of Sales and Operations, Jim Dando, who made the appeal, also spoke on the need for African nations to lower their duties on locally made vehicles, while allowing the Original Equipment Manufacturers to import other variety of vehicles at discounted duties.
A statement by the automaker quoted him as saying, “The challenges we wrestled with is that used cars are imported in great quantities, and it is assumed that they generate a lot of revenue in duties and sometimes, governments are blinded by this, and when this happens, it blocks opportunity for industrialisation.”
Dando said African governments should not be misled due to the huge revenue in duties accruing from grey imports as to jettison the unparalleled opportunities linked with industrialisation.
He said grey imports were hugely problematic, not just because they skewed the market, but they created expectations about after-sales service, which the manufacturers often could not meet.
This, he said, was because the vehicles were not originally made for African conditions and there could not be spare parts and trained technicians to service them. READ ALSO: EU vows swift retaliation on U.S threat on auto tariffs
Nissan Group of Africa is a founding member of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers, a body set up in 2015 to make vehicles for African conditions as well as create sustainable, continental and competitive automotive industry.
Earlier in 2014, not long after the inauguration of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, the Nissan group also became the first Foreign Direct Investment to partner West African Conglomerate, Stallion Group, to establish a wholly indigenous Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria.
Dando also spoke on the growing demand for vehicle plants in the sub-region.
He added, “Investing in an automotive plant is a huge undertaking, where there have to be incentives in place for the OEMs and there has to be a very strong message against grey import market because these cars are being brought in cheaper than we can make them.”
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