Honda Automobile Western Africa Limited, which prides itself as the only international Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in Nigeria, has stated that the operating environment in Nigeria does not encourage it to maximise its potentials.

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Operating from its facility in Ota, Ogun state, the company says since it commenced operations of its SKD plant over 8 years, it has never done over 40 percent of installed capacity.

It however said that it has pesevered in the face of the challenges and has not closed its assembly line.

The company which had commissioned its motorcycle assembly arm in Ota, South West Nigeria 40 years ago, explained that its production output has come down from its installed capacity of 1000 units of vehicles per annum.

The auto firm maintains that it will continue to uphold its quality standard which it has been known for since its establishment in Nigeria 40 years ago.

Speaking during a media tour of its factory in Ota, Ogun State, managing director, HAWA, Takashi Nakajima, said among other operational difficulties, the company is currently experiencing challenges of foreign exchange and also the scarcity of dollars for purchase of goods and components for manufacturing.

According to him, the uncertainty of the auto policy is also a challenge, adding that the direction of the policy is not stable yet.

Nakajima said as an OEM, it needs some stimulation from the government, saying “90 percent of the market is used cars. If we have some regulations around new cars, it will help to build confidence in our business.

“We have an installed capacity of 1000 per year and daily capacity to assemble 3 units per day. For now we are doing 50 per cent of the three units, that is, we do 1.5 units per day because of low sales and some other challenges.”