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Peter Obi Made Me To Start Producing SUVs And Pick-Ups – Innoson

Peter Obi Made Me To Start Producing SUVs And Pick-Ups – Innoson

The Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr. Innocent Chuwuma, last week, cast his mind back to the early days of his Nnewi-based auto plant, recalling that as the governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, gave the company tremendous encouragement that helped boost its activities.

The industrialist said that apart from making the access road to Innoson plant very motorable, Obi placed repeated orders for hundreds of mini buses, pick-up trucks and SUVs.

He disclosed, however, that the former governor is a hard bargainer who would always insist on the lowest possible unit price, even though he would pay promptly for every order placed.

“Peter Obi gave me much encouragement when I started. He first ordered 700 units of buses for schools in Anambra State, for which he made upfront payment. This upfront payment helped me a lot because I was just getting started.

“Later on, he ordered for another 500 units of pick-ups for security agencies in the state. But the only snag in dealing with him is that he would beat the price down to the lowest point. However, the good thing about him is that he will never owe you. He gave me a lot of encouragement. He also came back to me to say that he needed 500 SUVs for all the traditional rulers in Anambra state.

“Then, I had not started producing SUVs. I asked him to give me 14 days to study his need. I called all my engineers together and we discussed how to produce his order. Peter Obi made me to start producing SUVs and pick-ups, and we have no regrets doing so.”

Obi himself had some years ago disclosed on television that some people in his government had tried to dissuade him from purchasing the Innoson vehicles, alleging that they were death-traps.

“But, I insisted on the state buying from Innoson; I told them, ‘let the vehicles go ahead and kill us. The rest of us that survive will continue to use them,’” the former governor stated, confirming that the vehicles performed satisfactorily.

The result of meeting the mass purchases was that the auto maker gradually added more products to the IVM line-up, including shuttle buses, bigger buses for mass transit, various pick-up truck models {some made for the security agencies}, sedans, SUVs, ambulances, family vans, and refuse management vehicles.

The addition of many products also led to the commissioning of two new plants in July 2021 and installation of an automated robotic paint spray booth, which was integrated into the production processes to increase efficiency and quality in the IVM factory complex.

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