Designed for African roads, mulls EVs
By MIKE OCHONMA Transport Editor
A flourishing transport company; God Is Good Motors (GIGM) has signed an agreement for the delivery of 2,000 units of the new range of Jet Mover commercial mini-buses with Jet Systems Limited to replace their ageing fleet over the next three years whenever an order is placed with Nigerian automaker, Jet Motor Company.
The Jet Systems is also introducing the Jet EV, Africa’s first all-electric vehicle, and the Jet Mover, a luxury, durable, yet affordable minibus built specifically for African roads.
The auto manufacturer is said to have figured out the optimum specifications for the ultimate vehicle within the local and African environment which is an all-terrain van built out of Africa for the world.
Rupani Sanjay, Jet Motor Company director of sales and marketing noted that, the vehicle is a combination of the best design and technology practices from Europe and Asia, tropicalised for Africa. The shock absorbers are stronger than average, ground clearance is higher, tyre sizes are bigger. Generally, our testing has led us to see what is best for the Nigerian and African market and that is what we have built with minibus,”.
After over three years of thorough automobile research, testing and iterative development, the Jet Mover was produced and recently launched into the market.
In Sanjay’s submission,”We wanted to create a global product that is built to last. We were obsessed with getting it right because, if our vehicles can work well on Nigerian and African roads, they can succeed anywhere in the world’’.
Following a successful prototype, Jet Motor Company was able to engage leading inter-state transporter, GIGM as an early adopter, making it one of the first to live-test the vehicle.
Impressed, the company has since signed an agreement for delivery of 2,000 units of the Jet Mover to replace their fleet over the next three years. The first set of delivered vehicles is currently in use along its major routes in Nigeria and Ghana.
Beyond durability, the Jet Mover is also built for luxury and versatility. The premium passenger version of the Jet Mover is a 13-seater with leather seats and personalised entertainment system for each passenger. The Jet Mover can also be customised for various other uses like cargo, medical emergencies, as a school bus or for military use.
In a telephone chat with BusinessDay on Monday, Sanjay Rupani disclosed that the Jet Mover is already in use by the Edo, Delta and Lagos state governments with a long line of other government bodies, major road transport companies and NGOs waiting in line for delivery of their pre-orders.
“There is such a long waiting list that we can barely keep up with the current demand,” Sanjay said. He attributes the overflow of demand to the focus on versatility, durability and adaptability, all of which have propelled the Jet brand and its flagship vehicle ahead of long-standing rivals with global names behind them.
Having obtained the relevant licenses, Jet is already expanding into an over 2-acre assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria to meet demand. By the second quarter of 2020, the assembly plant is expected to attain a capacity of 5,000 vehicles annually. In all these, the company has been able to maintain a competitive price point.
Commenting on this, Oluwemimo Joseph, strategy and projects head and chief financial officer of Jet Motor Company said: “For now, we are not as focused on profitability as we are matching towards becoming the first truly Nigerian brand delivering on quality and affordability. The Jet Mover currently offers more value for money than the closest competition”.
Recently, Jet closed a private round of financing from the Canadian-based Africa Development Capital, Greatmand Legend, and a number of Asian investors. The cash injection, which is solely for research and development, will enable the company to introduce other lines of vehicles including, pickups, SUVs sedans and, most importantly, its ambitious Jet EV project.
Jet EV is Jet’s electricity-powered bus project. Already well into the research and development phase, current Jet EV prototypes can be driven for over 300 kilometres on a single charge.
The plan is to begin testing them in real-life situations as soon as possible. “We have already signed a contract with industry leader, GIG Logistics (GIGL) to supply over 50 electric Jet EV buses over the next 2 years and to commence testing in Q3 2020, utilising GIGL pickupcentres between Lagos and Benin as charging points,” Sanjay said.
Sanjay emphasized that; the company will require a review of Nigeria’s automotive policy to be able to carry on smooth testing operations in 2020.
“JET Motor Company is positioned to lead Africa into a new era of mobility, by producing world class vehicles designed in Lagos, assembled in Nigeria, and built for the globe,” he said.
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