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Motorists patronise Tokunbo as new tyre rates spike by 40%

By Adedamola Saka
10 December 2021   |   4:18 am
About 40 per cent spike in the cost of new tyres has created a boom in the fairly used and low-premium segment of the market.


About 40 per cent spike in the cost of new tyres has created a boom in the fairly used and low-premium segment of the market.

Despite the associated risk, marketers yesterday told The Guardian that sales of brand new tyres have dropped, while demand for fairly used and low-premium variant has lately peaked.

General Manager of Moragoff Arrow, a tyre marketing and maintenance company, Bolaji Ige, explained that there are two different categories of tyres on demand: premium and non-premium tyres.

The premium tyres are those from Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone, and Goodyear, while the non-premium ones are mostly from China and other Asian countries.

He said: “Before now, most people went for premium tyres like Dunlop and Michelin, but due to the poor state of our economy, most Nigerians now buy these relatively cheaper and non-premium tyres from China.

“Before, there was Dunlop and Michelin companies in Nigeria, but over two decades now, these companies collapsed due to poor economic state of the country. Now, most tyres are imported to and this is one of the major reasons why there are substandard tyres in the country.”

Ige also talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the tyre business. He observed that prior to the 2020 lockdown, new tyres were sold for N28,000 but “now, they cost an average of N40,000.

“October, November and December are seasons for tyre business. Customers always come around to change their vehicle tyres, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, things have changed. Customers that do go for premium tyres are now going for non-premium and Tokunbo tyres,” he said.

Comparing Tokunbo and brand new tyres, Ige said: “most people call them Tokunbo tyres, but I call them Nigerian-used tyres because importation of tyres is increasingly becoming difficult.

“Before, tyres bought from neighboring countries like Benin Republic were called Tokunbo tyres. But due to bad economy, when customers change their tyres, people that sell Tokunbo pick them up, rebrand and sell same as Tokunbo tyres.”

Chairman of Tokunbo tyres association at Ladipo Auto Spare Part Market, Ladipo, Emeka Onwuleuomi, also complained about how the economy has affected sales of Tokunbo tyres.

Onwuleuomi said tyres that lately sold at N5,000 to N8,000 now go for between N15,000 and N18,000.

Similarly, non-premium brands like Links, Maxxis and Doofride that lately sold at N28,000, now sold between N35,000 to N40,000.

The slide in the fortune of the nation’s economy, which has forced the price of various types of tyres to be on the rise is adversely affecting the motoring public, as road traffic accidents (RTAs) occasioned by the use of cheap and substandard tyres are increasing.

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), had in recent times seized several imported substandard tyres worth N2 billion, noting that the prevalence of such practice continues to put lives at risk.

Statistics from the office of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) indicated that 70 per cent of road traffic accidents are caused by use of substandard tyres.

One of the FRSC bulletins revealed that, “tyres expire after four years or after travelling about 80,000km, but not many drivers are aware of this fact. Most drivers, including vulcanizers, don’t know how to identify the expiry date of tyres”.