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‘How to own a car through vehicle financing’

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

Hence, the need for government and financial institutions to collaborate to put in place a detailed finance scheme to enable average Nigerians to have vehicles of their own, experts have said.

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This is coming even as an automotive technology company, Autochek, announced the acquisition of Ringier One Africa Media-owned (ROAM) vehicle marketplaces of Cheki operations in Nigeria and Ghana.

Checks by The Guardian on the development, reveal that Autochek plans to use technology to transform automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs. This will be from sourcing and financing to after-sales support and warranties, having identified a number of challenges in the car market on the continent.

In a chat with journalists in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, Autochek, Etop Ikpe, confirmed that the firm aimed to address this issue by making auto financing more accessible to consumers across Africa, as the new company works to standardise solutions around warranties and maintenance, to enable dealers to offer these services more readily to consumers.

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Speaking on the acquisition, Ikpe, said: “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.”

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 car marketplace, Cheki Kenya remains fully owned and operated by ROAM Africa.

Chief Executive Officer, ROAM Africa, Clemens Weitz, said: “With Autochek, we have found a company and founding team that will carry on the incredible results Cheki has achieved in Nigeria and Ghana over the last decade in developing a specialist car marketplace, loved and trusted by both car buyers and sellers.

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“Etop and his team have an outstanding record of success in the African automotive market and we are excited to be handing over these assets to them, ensuring continuity of service as we migrate the platforms over.

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.

The current Cheki Nigeria and Cheki Ghana teams remain intact with Cheki Nigeria’s current Chief Executive Officer, Chimezie Okonkwo, staying on with the new company.

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