The Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, and founder of Elizade Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, has challenged his son, Demola, who is leading the Elizade Autoland in pushing a new baby of the company, the JAC, to make the Chinese brand another household name among automobile lovers in Nigeria.
He spoke in Lagos after receiving a T6 JAC pickup as part of the 80th birthday gifts from the Elizade Autoland team in appreciation of what his reputation had done to the brand.
Ade.Ojo, who said there was still more for Toyota to achieve in Nigeria, also urged the JAC handlers to take a cue from leading auto brands by targeting the number one position.
He said, “We want to continue to be the number one auto company in Nigeria and make the JAC brand to become the number two or even overtake Toyota. I want to see a healthy rivalry between the two automobile brands that are connected to me in Nigeria.”
He said he was not discouraged by the some people’s negative perception about Chinese auto brands in Nigeria because he knew the JAC brand was meant to do well.
“It was my personal decision to bring the brand to Nigeria. When the representatives of the manufacturer came here, I immediately knew the brand would do very well in the country,” Ade.Ojo said.
He also shared his early experience as a businessman, saying he had to deny himself a lot of luxury in order to keep his business going.
He said, “I had to deny myself so many things in order to ensure that my business did not crumble. For instance, if there was an article that would not bring me money and I could not afford it five times in a way that it would not affect my business, I won’t buy it. This I did in order to ensure the stability and continuity of the business and I’ve achieved that.
“My first-time experience in the first class of an aircraft was one of my saddest days in life. The chairs were too big for what I was used to. They were bringing wine and all sorts of things, and I could not consume half of them. I felt that this was a waste of money. I denied myself flying in the first class for five years because of that experience. I went back to my economy class.
“It was when I started seeing many people I could literally buy with money coming out of the first class during the flight and they would be greeting me with respect that I felt there was a need to return to the first class.”
Ade.Ojo expressed gratitude to the Elizade Autoland group for handling the brand well and urged them to continue to work as a team for the success of the company.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Demola Ade-Ojo, had said during the presentation of the vehicle gift that the name Elizade Nigeria Limited, the parent company founded by Chief Ade.Ojo, had provided the springboard needed for JAC’s take-off and success.
He said, “Everyone acknowledges the fact that the name Elizade has opened doors for the JAC in Nigeria. Daddy, it is your reputation that has really made us to sell this brand in Nigeria. We know that you love the brand and you likened it to what Toyota was about 40 years ago when it started in Nigeria.
“You’ve seen the T6 and you loved it. We thought about what we would give you as a present on your 80th birthday and we came up with the JAC T6 model.”