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INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer - Car Talk - Nairaland

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INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by ROSSIKE: 4:37pm On Nov 21, 2012
INNOCENT CHUKWUMA - NIGERIAN BUSINESSMAN WHO DEFIED THE LIMITS



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The youngest among six children, Chief (Dr) Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma (OFR), was born into the family of Mr & Mrs Chukwuma Mojekwu of Uru-Umudim, Nnewi, in Anambra State, without the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. But, what he lacked in affluent parental background, he made up for with intelligence, hard-work, discipline and business acumen - qualities that have continued to interplay remarkably in his many ventures.

Thus, like many a successful Nnewi, and indeed Eastern, businessman, his trajectory in the private sector took off modestly when his elder brother, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma (Gabros) identified the good qualities in him and paved the way for the youngster’s journey into the business terrain as an apprentice after his education in his home town.

First, it was patent medicine trade that he tried his hands on, but later developed a stronger passion for motorcycle spare parts, which is not a typical of people from the highly industrial and commercial Nnewi town. This early tutelage became the veritable foundation the young Chukwuma needed to demonstrate an innate flair for trading, especially in motorcycle and automotive parts.

With his knowledge of the trade now honned, in 1981, Chukwuma ventured fully into the trade under the name INNOSON Nigeria Limited (with motorcycle parts and accessories as his main stock). It was this seed sowed 21 years ago that flourished and multiplied like a mustard seed, into the many companies under the big umbrella called the INNOSON Group.

This is because from being a leader in motorcycle parts INNOSON Nigeria Limited later launched into the importation of the products from China, and by the turn of the 1990s, had become so popular that its products were doing well across the country and in the West African sub-region.

Guided by the instinct of a far-sighted investor, Chukwuma promptly realized that the time was now ripe for Innoson Nigeria to domesticate the production of the motorcycles with substantial local input. This had the attendant benefits of enhancing the company’s grip on the market and contributing positively to the development of the economy by way of technological transfer, employment opportunities and competitive pricing of the motorcycles.

To realize this dream, Chukwuma in 1994 entered into a symbiotic partnership with some Chinese motorcycle manufacturers, which was consummated with the establishment of a facility in Nnewi, where top quality motorcycles were produced. However, the targets of comparatively low prices and transfer of the production technology, were only partially achieved owing to the fact that the assembly process was totally manual and did not make for high volume.

This explains why only one year later, in 1995, Chukwuma defied a major industrial boundary, by installing an automated assembly line at the Nnewi plant, thereby making Innoson Nigeria the first fully indigenous motorcycle maker to join Leventis and Boulos Enterprises in their club of companies producing the machines in Nigeria.
Playing a vital role in the successes recorded by INNOSON Nigeria is Midway Ventures Limited, a vital marketing arm of the company.

In the motorcycle industry, Chukwuma also holds the undeniable credit of being the one that crashed the prices of new motorcycles and drove tokunbo (imported second versions) out of the market. He introduced the technique of packing as many as 240 completely knocked down (CKD) sets (motorcycle components) in one 40-feet container as opposed to about 80 fully built units hitherto imported in the same long container.

Thus, INNOSON Nigeria limited prompted a revolution in the motorcycle industry in Nigeria, which ripples are still lingering in the market. First, the price of an average motorcycle crashed from over N100,000 to between N50,000 and N75,000 when the products of the Nnewi plant started hitting the market across the country. Consequently, patronage naturally shifted from imported second-hand motorcycles (which used to sell for about N90,000) to new, factory-fresh ones as the latter became cheaper, thereby robbing the former of its attraction.

Even though the prices of new motorcycles have gone up a little bit since then as a result of other uncontrollable economic factors, second-hand versions have remained unattractive.
Less than 10 years after going into making motorcycles locally, Chuwuma branched into plastics manufacturing: This was when INNOSON Nigeria Limited, in 2002, sired INNOSON Technical and Industrial Company Limited, located in Emene, Enugu.

This manufacturer of first-grade plastic products for household use, industrial applications and export, bears even a more astonishing testimony to Chief Chukwuma’s reputation as a turn-around ‘wizard’ with a Midas touch.

Known formerly as Eastern Plastics, which was owned then by the Enugu State Government, the company was at the time of its acquisition by Innoson, derelict with obsolete machinery. But it was later re-equipped with state-of-the-art production facilities and transformed into the biggest plastics company in Nigeria, with products widely acclaimed to be among the best in the market. At the last count, Innoson Technical makes more than 60 plastic products with the list steadily growing as fresh moulds are added to the production lines to satisfy the demands for new items.

It, therefore, did not surprise industry watchers when in July, 2008, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), at an elaborate ceremony held at the factory, presented Innoson Technical with a MANCAP quality certificate, after rigorous tests on some of its lines of products, including the nationally-acclaimed Innoson plastic chairs.
Found within INNOSON Technical range of products are some vital parts produced for the motorcycle-making INNOSON Nigeria, the new INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM) and other clients in similar and diverse industrial sectors.

In February 2007, Chukwuma embarked on what some analysts perceived then as a mission impossible, when it incorporated INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), to produce sundry commercial automobiles, utility vehicles and passenger cars, in collaboration with a consortium of Chinese auto manufacturers.
With the public display of some of the vehicles at the 2nd Nnewi International Auto Trade Fair held at the Beverly Hills Hotels (Gabros Sports Complex) in the last quarter of 2009, IVM did not only silence the critics, but made a bold statement about its readiness to achieve the avowed mission of being the first (indigenous) auto maker to produce truly Nigerian vehicles that are affordable and reliable.

IVM is today a success story which has attracted effusive commendations and awards from various quarters, including the nation’s seat of power. While opening the plant on October 15, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan not only hailed Chukwuma for the courage of venturing into an industry many ran away from, but also assured him of government’s patronage from the government.

But even before the President’s visit, IVM had attracted an official delegation from the Ghanaian government, which through a minister, dangled incentives before Chukwuma with an appeal to come over to Accra for talks on how he could set up a similar plant in the former Gold Coast.

Not surprisingly, IVM has become a major supplier of buses to the country’s transportation sector, including the mass transit scheme launched on January 8, 2012, by President Jonathan. Innoson not only built majority of the mass transit vehicles unveiled that day at the Eagle Square, but has been engaged to provide a good number of the 6,000 units to be injected into the scheme between now and July, 2012.

The INNOSON vehicles produced in Nnewi are Nigerian in name and indeed, for aside the fact that the nameplate they are wearing is IVM, or ‘INNOSON’ and not the name of any foreign brand, there is also an appreciable level of local content in every unit.
And just as the ovation for the Nnewi-made vehicles was hitting a crescendo, Chukwuma, in collaboration with other investors, established another multi-billion naira industrial outfit, namely General Tyres & Tubes Limited, (also located in Emene Industrial Layout in Enugu) which has started trial production of tyres and tubes.

At full capacity, General Tyres & Tubes can meet the nation’s motorcycle (and later motor vehicle) tyre and tube needs.

In recognition of his contributions to the business and productive sectors, Chukwuma and his business empire have at different times won various awards, honours and recognitions, including Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR), in November, 2011, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), in February 2008, awarded by the late president Umaru Musa Yar'adua, National Honours of the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) in 2010, both conferred by President Jonathan, Special Merit Award by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Meritorious Award by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in 2008, Special Presidential Merit Award by the Nigerian Society of Engineers December 2011, MANCAP Award of Excellence by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in 2008.

In February 2012, INNOSON Motors won the African Business Of The Year Award, at a ceremony held in London, conferred by the Commonwealth Business Council and African Business Magazine.

56 Likes

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by jamace(m): 5:25pm On Nov 21, 2012
A welcome development.
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Henry120: 5:49pm On Nov 21, 2012
Rossike, I appreciate your efforts. You make me proud to be a nigerian. Breath of fresh air, is what is needed, not a bunch of newspapers churning out badnews all the time.

P.s, I also follow you guys at skyscrapercity.com. Nice job
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Itoroetti(m): 6:06pm On Nov 21, 2012
Nice development.but does the government protect d local investors?dis shud be done so that other international blue chip companies dont overide them.

1 Like

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by PaulJohn1: 6:16pm On Nov 21, 2012
Excellent development.
Too bad, Nigeria government who are to encourage innovative minds like this, by making laws in favor of this innovation are short sighted. Only to enrich anything foreign at the detriment of the locals.

Very Impressive one, may be ridding one of those somedays.
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Afam4eva(m): 6:42pm On Nov 21, 2012
This man really defied the odds to achieve what he achieved. I respect Nnewi and Anambra people because they're the pride of Igboland. Welldone Mr Chukwuma.

9 Likes

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by akintun: 6:57pm On Nov 21, 2012
I don't think it is d first black assembly plant, but why are people buying TATA when this is available .

1 Like

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by ilugunboy(m): 7:01pm On Nov 21, 2012
I also saw Innoson boldly engraved on some PHCN new OTA electricity meters..is he also into the production of that?
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by OdenigboAroli(m): 7:24pm On Nov 21, 2012
[quote author=afam4eva]This man really defied the odds to achieve what he achieved. I respect Nnewi and Anambra people because they're the pride of Igboland. These are the people that make you proud to be Igbos. Welldone Mr Chukwuma.[/quote

Lmao...ole boy you funny eeeh.
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by manny4life(m): 7:36pm On Nov 21, 2012
This is gr8. One can only imagine what Nigeria would have turned out if everything was in place.
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by OdenigboAroli(m): 7:40pm On Nov 21, 2012
Paul John: Excellent development.
Too bad, Nigeria government who are to encourage innovative minds like this, by making laws in favor of this innovation are short sighted. Only to enrich anything foreign at the detriment of the locals.

Very Impressive one, may be ridding one of those somedays.

I will like to inform you that the Anambra goverment has been purchasing vehicle that runs in billions from Innoson,have given him more ideas and is also encouraging and inspiring other manufacturers in the state big time. Infact, that Innoson motors is growing from strenght to strenght is because of the support of Peter Obi led goverment. That's what I call a vissionary leader.

8 Likes

 
 
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Gstar2: 7:55pm On Nov 21, 2012
This is what we are know for.
With time, we hope we can start selling out to other countries too.












Mukina pls unban 'imanuelle'
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Nobody: 7:57pm On Nov 21, 2012
The factory could've been in Nigeria IMO
 
 
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Danka7777(m): 8:02pm On Nov 21, 2012
smiley
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Danka7777(m): 8:03pm On Nov 21, 2012
Once again, Innocent thanks for making us proud with your igbo ingenuity. This isn't new with us, we designed and built from scratch most of all the weapons used during the Civil War. Trust me , if Biafra were a country with the ingenuity spirit it had in the 60s, we would have made an enormous breakthrough in Modern Technology as Iran is doing now.

I anticipate this comment will generate a great deal of criticisms from haters.

14 Likes

 
 
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by 2helpu(m): 8:05pm On Nov 21, 2012
This is a laudable achievement. I hope he will be able to use this to employ lots of Nigerians.

Kudos.
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by LOZENGE: 8:07pm On Nov 21, 2012
ivm will be the first ride i will buy
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by a1solution: 8:09pm On Nov 21, 2012
I love this guy because the business of life and living is for serious minded people only. Its either you become rich or die trying dat is the only two options I give to people.

1 Like

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by akigbemaru: 8:10pm On Nov 21, 2012
This is not a factory to manufacture cars, this is a warehouse! I have seen it and it does not look anything like car manufacturing plants I have seen before. Nigeria can manufacture cars but we are too gullible to fall for the trick of Oyinbo man. All we have got to do is, stop the importation of cars and consult any foreigner car manufacture, but a franchise and give them our own brand of car with African or Nigerian names, all they have got to support us with is the dashboards for all the cars we are making. That is how is done oversea. If US for instance manufactures BMW, IT DOES not have permission to make the dashboard by itself. We just got to consult the Japanese to build those robots that weld anything iron on cars. From every dashboard the mother car company supply, they have their own percentage and that is to guarantee them how many cars are we producing. This will ease the stress of shipping foreign cars and import duties.

5 Likes

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by ypzilanti: 8:11pm On Nov 21, 2012
Mad Cow: Innoson chinese toy car assemblers..



Read some history. Japanese and Korean cars were once derided as 'toy cars'. They kept at it, and made a success. You want him to start producing Mercedes or Lexus at this point? Even if he did, would you buy it? You start small, build a reputation and then expand...thats the rule in business. If you think say na lie, ask HITV.

10 Likes

 
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Danka7777(m): 8:11pm On Nov 21, 2012
akigbemaru: This is not a factory to manufacture cars, this is a warehouse! I have seen it and it does not look anything like car manufacturing plants I have seen before. Nigeria can manufacture cars but we are too gullible to fall for the trick of Oyinbo man. All we have got to do is, stop the importation of cars and consult any foreigner car manufacture, but a franchise and give them our own brand of car with African or Nigerian names, all they have got to support us with is the dashboards for all the cars we are making. That is how is done oversea. If US for instance manufactures BMW, IT DOES not have permission to make the dashboard by itself. We just got to consult the Japanese to build those robots that weld anything iron on cars. From every dashboard the mother car company supply, they have their own percentage and that is to guarantee them how many cars are we producing. This will ease the stress of shipping foreign cars and import duties.

I anticipate this coming. Here they are again at it. Very shameless comment

1 Like

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by lankspex(m): 8:11pm On Nov 21, 2012
Is he actually manufacturing the vehicles or just assembling them?
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by ebusko43: 8:16pm On Nov 21, 2012
God bless Chukwuma.......am on my way to found my own Group of companies......
Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Danka7777(m): 8:16pm On Nov 21, 2012
lankspex: Is he actually manufacturing the vehicles or just assembling them?

Here they are again...judas! They will doubt and ask irrational questions to appease their pent-up huff against such ingenious ingenuity instead of celebrating such a non-brainier.

1 Like

Re: INNOSON MOTORS - World's First Black-owned Car Manufacturer by Observator: 8:16pm On Nov 21, 2012
I am very proud of this achievement. All well meaning Nigerians should make Governments to encourage Innoson Motors and other indegenous manufacturers.

I will equally advise readers to ignore ethinc comments on Niraland. Just flow with the brilliant topic of discussion and refuse to join issues online.


God bless Innoson Motors.

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