One of the fun parts of running a blog is checking the statistics, and seeing who is visiting. I truly enjoy sharing my automotive stories, and don't do it just for the clicks, but as anyone can imagine, it is always satisfying when a story catches peoples attention. This particular blog platform, Blogger.com, allows me to see how many people have visited and where they are from. It also shows me what stories people are reading, and which ones don't particularly interest them. I can check for the past day, week, month, or all-time.
Analysing this information helps me to know what kind of articles people enjoy reading, and which ones don't interest anyone. Over the past little while I have noticed many visits from several different countries that I know little about. Specifically, I realised that I didn't know anything about their automotive cultures or industries. I decided to research a little bit and see what I could dig up. Today I thought I would start with one country that has caught my interest.
Not only do I know nothing about the automotive situation in Nigeria, I have to admit I don't know anything at all about the Western African country. With a population of over 170,000,000 people, it is the 7th most populous country in the world. As far as I can determine, there never has been a Nigerian car brand. Peugeot and Volkswagen have factories in the country, and beginning in April 2014, Nissan is expected to start producing a 4x4 vehicle.
I found an interesting website, the NAC (National Automotive Council of Nigeria), that makes it clear that Nigeria is making an effort to create a strong and viable auto industry. In 2012 over 100,000 new cars were imported, mostly from Asia and Europe, but more interestingly, over 300,000 used cars were imported. While I couldn't find any full statistics, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry sedans are apparently very popular, along with older Mercedes models. The Korean brands Hyundai and Kia are also popular.
One interesting tidbit I came across was the fact that it is very common for Nigerian car fans to give their cars a nickname! The squat, broad Accord from 1995 was called 'Bulldog' for its looks, for example, while the 1992 Camry that had gotten bigger and heavier than the previous version earned the less than flattering nickname 'Orobo', which means 'Fatso'!
A huge auto parts importation and distribution market exists in Nigeria. It makes sense that if there are going to be a huge number of old cars on the road, people will need to repair them, so this auto parts market helps the population keep their cars running. I have a soft spot for automotive fans who like to get their hands dirty and take care of their own auto repairs, so I can very much appreciate a country with such an active used-car culture!
Another day I'll look at into another country, but for now I'd be very curious to hear from any of the Nigerian readers that follow my blog if they have any corrections or additional automotive information to share!