There are over 20 car brands in the world. The major car brands have their origins in the America, Asia and Europe notably the United States of America, Germany and Japan. The most common car brands patronized in Africa notably Nigeria are Japanese cars for their cheaper cost, availability of spare parts and easy to understand by car mechanics.
Nigeria being the most populous country in Africa and one of the top four most populous country in the world with over 180 million people, is a big market for car brands as much as other consumer products. They might be the most poorest as their oil wealth isn’t circulated among the citizens and the nation’s leaders for many decades since independence haven’t shown the political will for whatever reason to utilize the abundant natural resources aside crude oil to be a producing nation.
Read Also: How to Make Money With Your Pet Dog
Against all odds the citizens still make effort to live a good life and purchase the best of consumer products mostly imported. Nigerians like a good life but having a car isn’t about living a good life, though it is but it is a necessity to get through daily survival struggles and to make movement from one place to the other easy. Nigerians are known to purchase the best car brands available in the world with regards to Africa. However, I will be looking at the most common car brands – top ten in the country and the best
of brands or the most expensive might not be just part of it.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUYING A BRAND
In the course of the research for this article, I spoke with car owners, car mechanics and salespersons along with potential car owner both young and old. The basic consideration for car purchase are three namely; Cost of purchase Maintenance and Fuel consumption rate
TOP 10 CAR BRANDS
Toyota cars are the undisputed king of Nigerian roads. For every 10 cars on Nigerian roads, 6 are Toyota car, 4 of the 6 would
be Toyota Corollas. The acceptability of Toyota cars in Nigeria is because they are affordable yet sleek and moves with pride. Maintenance cost is cheap as spare parts are readily available. The cars consume relatively low rate of fuel compared to some other brands. One other major reason why the car brand has a favourable market is that it has a second hand value. Most people can hardly afford a tear-rubber (brand new) car yet a second hand or what they call Belgium or Tokunbo of a Corolla is still desirable to the eyes and can still have value over time. Majority of car mechanics specialize in Toyota cars repair and maintenance. Toyota is a Japan based automobile company.
Honda cars also from Japan are a competition to Toyota and its spare parts are readily available and so maintenance cost is low too. They are a second option to Toyota car brand.
The Lexus car brand which is a luxury car division of Toyota is also a welcome car in Nigeria among those who want to upgrade to a higher version of Toyota, especially those who were seeking for a better alternative to their SUV cars. Lexus has larger engines and so consumes more fuel but it is easy to maintain like every other Toyota cars and the good thing is that if its specified spare parts are not available, most can be replaced with a Toyota part and this is what excites some of the Lexus car owners. And Toyota car mechanic specialist are into Lexus repair and maintenance too. The RX 300 series was what really opened the market for Lexus and since then, it’s been a well sort after car in the country especially among the under 50 young population. The series are affordable compared to other brands of similar car grade.
Mercedes Benz cars dominated Nigeria in history just as Toyota does today. The Mercedes Benz 230 was a sold out and interesting a few older people still keep it in their home. However, the Japanese companies came with better designed and
affordable car models that captured the interest of young persons. But over time Mercedes Benz returned strong with nicer sleek masculine cars that represent strength, quality and gives a man a sense of being in charge. Mercedes Benz over the decades have come with different unique series. What attracts many young persons is that as newer versions of the Mercedes Benz brand comes out to the market, the older one becomes cheaper and it still has the value some other latest version of other car brands have if not more. Besides, Mercedes Benz cars have second hand value and that is a plus along with durability but its spare parts are expensive. Mercedes Benz is made in Germany.
KIA car brand has an acceptability to many young working class young persons because it combines beauty with affordable pricing. The cars were at one time available for higher purchase by some financial institutions and that really made so many working class have access to KIA cars.
While it may not be a competition for Toyota, KIA certainly has a place
on Nigerian roads especially in cosmopolitan cities. KIA is a product from South Korea.
Hyundai was the first South Korean car brand to hit the Nigerian market and was for a long time before the coming of KIA.
BMW had a place in the Nigerian market in the 90s but as other car brands made in roads, their rating dropped. A major problem with the cars then was it wasn’t durable
and spare parts were hardly available along with their high rate of fuel
consumption. However, some persons are still loyal to the car brand from Germany.
8. LAND ROVER
Land Rover is a four wheel British luxury car brand made in the United Kingdom that is used mainly by government officials and politicians. The car brand replaced Peugeot cars which were once a trade market of government agencies. It is mainly used by top government officials and senior political office holders and party leaders.
Acura is an American-Japanese luxury car brand by Honda and is gradually making in-roads into the heart of well-paid working class men.
Volkswagen beetles ruled Nigerian roads in the 70s and 80s. it was a pride to own one of this German car and my dad did and I can still remember the experience and how we were viewed by neighbours and friends then. Fresh graduates were gifted with a Volkswagen beetle along with a job then but as Nigeria entered the 21st century with car brands coming with more attractive innovations with spaces to carry more
passengers, the car was as good as gone, However, Volkswagen bounced back with Passat and other car models that still make them visible on Nigerian roads.