Abuja auto dealers record low patronage ahead of Christmas

ABUJA – Ahead of Christmas season some car dealers in Abuja on Friday said that they were recording low patronage in their business.
Mr Victor Uchechi, the Manager of Geotraco Motors Ltd., Central Business District, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that though patronage was low, he was hopeful that sales would improve soon.
“I am not making much sales since the beginning of September but I expect that things will be better at the mid-week of December,’’ he said.
He said that he used to sell between10 to 15 cars in one month, adding that this year he had not sold more than six cars in one month.
Uchechi attributed the low patronage to drop in the purchasing power of the citizenry, particularly for luxury items such as cars.
He said that the low sales could also be attributed to `hoarding’ of naira by politicians ahead of 2015 general elections.
He told NAN that another reason for the low patronage was the recent devaluation of naira by the Federal Government.
He said that due to the devaluation of naira, customers had to pay more for cars because they were now imported at cost.
The branch manager of Kefiano Autos Ltd., Wuse, Mr Idris Suleiman, told NAN that the low patronage had persisted since the beginning of 2014.
Suleiman said that customers were interested in buying cars but there interests were diminished when they were told the price of the vehicles.
For example, he said he sold a Honda Accord, 2013 model at N5.5 million per unit only to discover that the price had increased to N6.5 million when he wanted to restock.
According to him, in the last two years, he used to sell between 20 to 25 vehicles in a month but now only sells between only five to eight cars.
The proprietor of Audu Motors Ltd., in Nyanya, Mr Audu Adamu, told NAN that cars dealers and dealers in second hand cars popularly called `Tokubo’ in particular, were experiencing rough times.
Adamu said that their business had worsened over the past two years.
He attributed the downturn in their fortune to ‘problematic government policies’.
Adamu said that the situation had been made worse by the recent devaluation of the naira by the Federal Government.
He called on the Federal Government to loosen up its economic policies and introduce some palliatives to enable automobile dealers remain in business.
Adamu said that remaining in business would enable automobile dealers to continue to contribute their quota toward job and wealth creation. (NAN)

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