Toyota Nigeria Limited said on Thursday that importation of new cars dropped by about 90 per cent between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
While 3,500 units of new vehicles were imported in 2016 Q1, only 350 units were imported in the first quarter of 2017 amidst biting recession worsened by the devaluation of naira and scarcity of foreign exchange.
Managing Director of TNL, Kunle Ade-Ojo who reeled out this figure at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos on Thursday, also disclosed that the total retail sale for the first quarter of 2017 stood at 2,000 units compared to 5,500 units sold last year.
Total import in 2015, according to him, was 18,000 units. It dropped to 7,000 units in 2016, while Toyota had a share of 43 per cent of the 2015 imports and 38 per cent in 2016.
Despite the drop in sales and importation, he said Toyota grew its share from 24 per cent in 2015 to about 26 per cent in 2016.
He attributed the reduction in importation to high duty of 70 per cent which, according to him, dissuades many companies from importing new vehicles.
He said the auto industry was badly hit by devaluation and the instability in forex market, adding that proper financial and cost management and prioritization helped the company in weathering the storm.