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Brands We Love: Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM)

 

Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) is Nigeria’s first indigenous motor vehicle manufacturer. Based in Nnewi, Anambra State, the company produces multi-purpose vehicles, pickups, SUVs, and buses for a large Nigerian client base.


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Within a decade and a half, IVM has achieved a status that many businesses its age can only dream of. It’s a household name, recognized by people everywhere in Nigeria for its pioneering role in the automotive industry. It has inspired a succession of automobile companies, which have followed its lead to produce and assemble vehicles locally.

Founded in 2007 by Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson made its entry into an automotive market that was dominated by foreign players. Innocent, who had been a spare parts dealer for a while, believed that it was possible to carve out a niche as the country’s first manufacturer in the space, and went on with the project despite the doubts voiced by critics.

In 2009, IVM showcased some of its vehicles at the second Nnewi International Auto Trade Fair. This move was momentous; it proved to the public that Innoson’s mission was possible and that it was succeeding at becoming an indigenous motor brand.

In the years that followed, it has diversified and improved its offerings. Besides serving Nigerian users, it has also gained clientele from elsewhere in West Africa, including Mali, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Earlier in its existence, the Ghanaian government had tried to lure it to set up a manufacturing plant in its country. And in 2019, the government of Sierra Leone purchased some of its vehicles.


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Innoson has three Multipurpose Vehicle brands: The Innoson G20 Smart, a seven-seat car with gentle lighting and a 6-channel theatre system; the IVM Ikenga, a fuel-saving, high-performance vehicle; and IVM Capa, which comes with spacious seating and built-in multimedia systems.

The SUVs from IVM are the IVM G80, a ruggedly built 5-seat carrier with a sedan-style interior; the IVM G40, a car prizing space and comfort; the IVM G6, which boasts a sleek interior, fine rear design, and comfortable seats; and the IVM G5, designed with Power Sunroof and functional shock-absorber technology.

The company’s range of vehicles also includes three pickup types and six bus brands. All of these have unique specifications and are built for a diverse user base.

Innoson has tried to keep its vehicle production components and process as local as possible. About 70% of its parts are said to be sourced from within Nigeria. This focus on building a local economy around vehicle production has earned it praise and patronage from the government.

The first fourteen years of Innoson have seen it grow tremendously. The coming decades may come with challenges, but the company’s team says they are prepared for what’s ahead. Innocent Chukwuma, its founder and CEO, has predicted the rise of electric vehicles in its target markets and has spoken with confidence about IVM’s readiness for it.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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