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Ex Cars45 CEO’s new Autochek acquires Cheki Nigeria, Ghana

To transform auto buying, selling experience for consumers

Tochukwu Michael

Autochek, the automotive technology company recently founded by Etop Ikpe, former Cars45 chief executive officer, has announced the acquisition of Ringier One Africa Media-owned (ROAM) vehicles marketplaces of Cheki operations in Nigeria and Ghana. The new platform will relaunch by the end of 2020.

BusinessDay checks on the development reveals that Autochek plans to use technology backbone to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties, having identified a number of challenges in the car purchase market on the continent,.

Despite the average price of used cars in Africa standing at $5,000 (almost three times the current GDP per capita-$1,720), with credit penetration in the auto market at less than one percent, almost every used car is bought without any institutional finance.

In a telephone chat with our reporter last Monday, Etop Ikpe confirmed that Autochek aims to address this issue by making auto financing more accessible to consumers across Africa, as the new company is also now working to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance, to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.

ROAM, Cheki’s parent company, has transferred ownership and operational control to Autochek, and all Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana outlets will now be rebranded as Autochek. The leading cars marketplace Cheki Kenya remains fully owned and operated by ROAM Africa.

Building on Cheki’s 10 years of progress with a network of more than 500 paying dealers, Autochek is set to introduce additional technology solutions that will make it easier for dealerships to service their customers better.

Speaking on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, Ceo of Autochek says, “We are really excited by this new opportunity to drive the African automotive space forward. Our aim is to create a one-stop shop for consumers’ automotive needs, embedding technology at every stage of the process, thereby making the journey of car ownership easier for everyone. Our goal is to continue the great work (of the Cheki team), as well as expand operations into other African territories from 2021 onwards.”

The current Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana team remains intact with Cheki Nigeria’s current CEO, Chimezie Okonkwo, staying on with the new company.

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