During an Exclusive interview with Mike Ikenwa, Mr. Kosy Maduanusi, the General manager sales, Innoson vehicle Mfg. Co. LTD, said what Innoson Nigeria actually does, contrary to what Some Nigerians are saying, is manufacturing Cars, not assembling, and he took his time during the interview to explain the clear difference between manufacturing and assembling of cars.
Maduanusi also said that what Nigerians are saying that their cars are substandard is not true. He said that how can a car that has a three year guarantee not be good?
Mike Ikenwa (Mike): Nice to have you, may we meet you.
Kosy Maduanusi (Kosy): My name is Kosy Maduanusi, and I’ll be speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Innoson motors.
Nigerians are saying that What Innoson Motors does is to buy parts from other countries and assemble it in Nigeria, is that true?
That’s not true, maybe those people saying that don’t know the different between assembling of cars and manufacturing it. Manufacturing of vehicles means you bring your component parts from different sources and you mode them into that which you want it to fit into your own structure and you bring them together it becomes vehicle while assembling of cars means you go elsewhere and you bring in completely knocked down (CKD ) or semi-knocked down parts of these vehicles, fix them together to make a vehicle, that is what we call assembling. But we buy our flat raw parts and mode it into these Aesthetics body you see on our vehicles.
The plastic components on our vehicles are produced in Enugu. We have a plastic company in Enugu, I don’t know if you have heard of it? It’s called Innoson technically industrial company one of the companies in Innoson group; they produce all plastic components in our vehicles. We source for the rest; of course we have clusters of spare parts manufacturers. We have Cotex that build the electricals, we have the rest that provides other components when we need them and all of them are here in Nigeria. We are aiming to make.
Mike: In how many states of the country do you have plants and showrooms?
Kossy: We have our main plant in Nnewi, Anambra state, and then we have showrooms in all the geopolitical zones in Nigeria. We have showrooms in Nnewi, Enugu, Uyo, Abuja, Kano and of course we have showrooms in Lagos.
Mike: What can you tell me about what Nigerians are saying that your vehicle, Innoson motors, compare to other vehicles, are substandard?
Kossy: How can my vehicle be substandard when I give three years guarantee to the buyers and one year six months free services? This only shows that I know what I’m giving out. They are just sceptical. You know, we humans we are sceptical about new things. Those who have used our vehicle keep coming back to purchase more and even recommend us to people. I had a man that said he want to buy fleet of vehicle for his company and, he went ahead and bought nine. In 2015 when he opened a new branch, he said he want to buy another fleet of cars for the new branch.
He came back and bought 16 new vehicles. He said our vehicles are of the same quality with others, let me quote him, he said he wouldn’t want to use the word ‘superior’ but of the same quality but costs less compare with what is offered there in the market, and since then he’s been encouraging his friends to buy our cars and they’ve been buying our cars. So those that have used our vehicles are so happy and they keep coming back for more and that is what is important to us.
Mike: Ok, customer satisfactions. People are saying that Innoson doesn’t have a good advertising strategies and that is one of the major reasons why Innoson vehicles are not moving faster because most people, even those who speak of it don’t know what it looks like or even how it operates. Don’t you think that is one of the major challenges and setbacks for IVM?
Kossy: Yes I understand that which they’ve said. But it will interest you to know that we’ve opened up a department in Innoson sales unite to intensify our exposures and interaction with our prospective customers. Over the past months, we have an online presents and its very massive. On our Facebook we have over 35,000 likes. We started in January and between January and February 2016, getting 35,000 Facebooks likes is not something anybody could play with. Then when you also look at our website rating, you can see we are growing very fast, when you check our site visitors, between January and February, we are getting about 3.2 million visitors and our rating on the world ratting is 606,000, showing that people are taking their time looking at what Innoson is doing. We are also intensifying our effort on the media and newspaper exposures.
Mike: Don’t you think it will be good to run adverts on television channels because it will be easy for people to see the vehicle running on the road and know how strong, fast and balanced it is or Innoson can’t afford running that type of advert on the air?
Kossy: I understand what you mean but you are getting it wrong if you think that way. We run advert on Channels TV and Silverbird, you understand? Let me explain something to you. When we run advert on those platforms, we call it traditional platforms, the television adverts, but we want something that is much more interactive. When you sit and watch an advert on the television, you cannot interact with the brand. We want Nigerians to interact with the brand and tell us what they feel and what they think about the brand. We found out that most Nigerians are online, that’s why we spend about 75% of our advert budget online. We run adverts on newspapers like the Sun Newspaper, we also run on televisions like Channels, Silverbird, AIT, and others but more of our campaigns are online because we want Nigerians to interact with our brand, and Mike take it from me, we’ve got increase of about 63% traffic flows into our showrooms throughout Nigeria, you know the awareness is going up by the day.
Mike: The work force. What is the workforce like, how many people are you employing into IVM and how many percent of it are Nigerians?
Kossy: We have over 7,200 people under our employment, working for the Innoson group and we are increase the number. We are expected to recruit by March this year. Talking about how many percentage of our workforce are Nigerians. Mike it will interest you to know that 97% of our workers are Nigerians meaning that about 6,900 of them are Nigerians. The expatriates are few. What we do basically is transfer of technology and knowledge. We bring in expatriates, while they are here; we assign Nigerians to understudy them. So over times, the expatriates impact that knowledge to the Nigerians whom we know are always sharp and fast in learning new skills and new things. When the transfer of knowledge is done, the expatriates have to go back while the Nigerians will take over and begin to do those things they’ve learnt.
Mike: Do you have any showroom in any other African country apart from Nigeria?
Kossy: For now we don’t have showroom in any other African country apart from Nigeria, but of course our vehicles are sold and driven in other African countries.
Mike: How many percent is being bought and drive by none Nigerians?
Kossy: It’s still marginal for now, it’s less than 5%, it’s still marginal.
Mike: Do you have plans to improve in that area?
You know Mike that’s why we are Innoson. In the word of my chairman, he will always say Nigeria will always be developed by Nigerians. We are not working hard to development Africa; we are working very hard to develop Nigeria first. Our market now is not Africa; our target now is to bring our world class vehicles at affordable price to Nigerians. That’s our mission and that’s what we are working on.
Mike: Where do you see Innoson in the next five years?
Kossy: In the next five years, we will see Innoson as the Nigeria’s fastest selling vehicle, because from the feedback we receive on daily basis, good percentage of Nigerians love Innoson and they love the Innoson brands and every Nigerian want to drive Innoson with pride. So in the next five years, we are seeing Innoson as not just biggest selling vehicle in Nigeria, but the fastest and biggest selling vehicle in Africa and it will be right here in Nigeria.
Thank you for speaking with me, we hope to speak to you again soon
Thank you Mike for having me, of course I will always answer whenever you call. It’s my pleasure speaking with you
See Photos of the company and the process of manufacturing the vehicles below: