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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Nigerians and Their Uneven Love for Toyota.



Growing up in a small southwest city, I was exposed to a variety of cars Toyota corolla, Starlet and the Carina,  the Peugeot 404, 504 and 505 evolution, the Volkswagen Golf Mk 2 which my mom used, the Passat and the Jetta, Nissan Laurel and Bluebird, the Mercedes Benz 230E, "baby Benz" 190E, the frog faced 1999 E-class and the C class. I also remember some SUVs like the 4 runner,  Land Cruiser and Toyota Prado that was used by the present Ondo state governor when he was still a commissioner for health and lastly, that car we used to touch and run after triggering the loud anti-theft alarm, the car which after acquiring, the owner would automatically be made a chief in Igbo land, the same one which had small wipers on its headlights, the luxury Mercedes Benz S class that was only used by wealthy people,  the same wealthy folks who had broken pieces of glass cemented on their on their fences. Back in the day, there was an endless list of cars to feed my eyes on.

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Fast forward to post 2010 and all I see in the southwest is Toyota  more Toyota products then maybe some Honda, I get to see some of the other brands but not as much as the Toyotas. Needless to say, I am bored and I have only the internet to help fuel my automotive passion until I took a trip to the North. The diversity was more than I ever imagined, you get to see all brands of cars from the Italian Alfa Romeo to the German Beamers and Mercedes Benz, Peugeots, Chryslers, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Fords, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bugatti Veyrons and all of the exotic cars you only see on TV.

One gets very excited with the presence of these cars making their noises around, gallivanting and disturbing the peace. OK, I confess, there is a high chance that I might have included some form of exaggeration in what I've written above. A city like Lagos in the southwest is somewhat different. Though we still have a multitude of Toyota loyalists who would  reject a Mercedes Benz G63 AMG  for a 2008 Toyota Camry  without second thoughts. There are quite a number of brands available for the healthy consumption of the human eyes. Same applies to places like Warri and Port-Harcourt, our rich lands of black palm oil, I have my resident friends constantly telling me of stories of families who have endless fleets of Rolls Royce Mercedes and Bentleys but the undisputed  fact remains, the Toyotas and Hondas are in so much abundant abundance. I agree, there are Toyotas everywhere in Nigeria, heck! everywhere in the world but the big question coming from all edges of the universe still remains, why is there such an imbalance of this distribution in southern Nigeria?

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