NIGERIA: Vehicle imports tumble as credit dries up

By just-auto.com editorial team | 9 December 2009

Imports of new vehicles into Nigeria fell heavily in the first 11 months of the year as diminishing levels of consumer credit hit demand.

New vehicle shipments fell 38% to the end of November, to 42,493 units, Reuters reported, citing Chetan Mehan, head of marketing at Dana Motors, which imports Kia cars and trucks.

The news agency also quoted Wilson Anumudu, a local Toyota dealer, who said: "We have never seen it so bad. For the 19 years I have been here, this is the last quarter of the year where customer enquiries and sales have been the lowest in history," he added.

A credit drought is being largely blamed for the fall in sales as Nigerian banks struggle with the global financial slowdown.

It was reported that credit sales accounted for about 22% of total new sales of 75,000 units in 2008. Credit sales are now expected to have fallen close to zero.