•Automated robotic spray booth too

Vehicle manufacturing technology deepened in Nigeria last week when the country’s only indigenous automaker    Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (IVM) –  expanded its production capacity in Nnewi with the commissioning of two new plants.

The company has also installed an automated robotic spray booth, which has been integrated into the plants’ production processes to increase efficiency and quality in the continuously expanding factory complex.

Inaugurating the new, more modern plants and the robotic booth, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, congratulated Innoson founder, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, for investing hugely in the development of the nation’s automotive industry.

The minister also thumbed up for the Innoson Group Chairman for helping to improve the economy by investing in ventures that create jobs for the youths, even as she assured manufacturers of continued support of the Federal Government as part of its efforts to diversify the base of the country’s economy.

While one of the new plants is dedicated to manufacturing the 1.5-liter engine 7-seater and 10-seater small/minibusses; the other new {Innocent Connect/Caris plant} produces passenger cars wearing Innoson Connect and Innocent Caris model names.

Guests at the event in Nnewi, Anambra State, including the director-general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, were informed that the plants have a combined capacity to produce 32,000 vehicles per year and would employ about 1,000 Nigerians

First of its kind in the country, the automated robotic spray booth not only provide a tangible boost in overall productivity and efficiency, but also helps to increases the volume of production when necessary,

These plants and the automated spray booth were financed by the Bank of Industry to the tune of N4.6 billion with support by the National Automotive Design and Develop Council.

Addressing the guests, Dr. Chukwuma commended the Federal Government for “their unflinching support and dogged determination to ensure that our investments survive the vagaries of our economic downturn.”

“I make bold to say that the industrialisation of the country, through deliberate policies of government is key,” the Innoson Chairman added, reiterating IVM’s determination and capacity to continue producing good quality vehicles that are competitively priced.

Some of the guests at the  event include the Governor of Anambra State, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Chairman of NADDC, Senator Osita Izunaso,; and Director General of NADDC, Jelani Aliyu.

Also present were the member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South, and Ekwusigo Constituency in the House of Representatives, Chris Azubogu; and member representing Nnewi in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Nonso Smart Okafor, among other federal and state public servants, captains of industry, and auto industry stakeholders.

Commissioned by the then President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, the IVM plant, commenced operations with the production of light commercial vehicles {sundry pick-ups and mini buses}, followed later by high capacity buses, including mass transit carriers.

However, in fulfillment of the Innoson Chairman’s vision of manufacturing a rich variety of vehicles as needed by the Nigerian market, the product ranges have steadily been widened to include passenger cars like sedan and, SUVs; shuttle buses, and other vehicles needed in the market.

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