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History, as Stallion Holds Nigeria’s 1st Keke Rally with Bajaj Tricyles

*Targets 28 Cities, 5,000 kms

-By Ironhand S. Chukwuemeka

Motoring history was made on Friday, August 7, when Stallion Auto Keke Ltd., the new and exclusive distributor of Bajaj Auto for 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler business, flagged off the first-ever keke rally in Nigeria at its showroom in the Ijeshatedo area of Lagos.

The flag-off, which marked the formal (dealer) launch of a new range of Bajaj products and the consummation of the Stallion-Bajaj partnership, will see the vehicles traverse about 5,000 kilometres of public roads with stops in 28 cities in 16 states, starting with Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.

The keke rally comprises a convoy of five tricycles with their experienced riders, a branded truck for customer engagement and market activation, and security agents, amongst others.

Rohtag with one of the five tricyles at
the ‘Keke Rally’ flag-off in Ijeshatedo,
Lagos, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

The organisers explained that the rally would be testimonial to the fact that the New Baba Bajaj, as the new-generation tricycles are fondly called, are strong, durable and are at home on Nigerian roads.
Guests were also informed that the long-distance road show expected to end on September 19, was aimed at reinforcing the brand promise that the new Bajaj tricycles are strong, run faster and last longer.

From the Lagos starting point, the rally will cover Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Rivers. Other states to witness the road show are Anambra, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun states, just as the team will all through the durable drive of 5000 kilometres be spreading the message of being responsible and maintaining hygiene to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The convoy is also scheduled to visit identified cultural sites in the states as a comprehensive exercise designed to celebrate Nigeria‘s history and its deep-rooted indegenous culture. It was explained that the keke‘s journey to these sites and the background stories, would help connect young Nigerians to their rich heritage.

Speaking at at the dealer launch, Managing Director, Stallion Auto Keke Ltd, Manish Rohtagi, said Bajaj is the pioneer keke brand in Nigeria that is well known for its durability, speed and overall performance and is loved by millions.

He assured that the new distributorship would bring immense value to the dealers, fleet owners, riders and consumers, stressing that Stallion’s advantage lies in its de-centralised operation and quick decision-making, which will help drive operating efficiency.

“The business is expected to grow at a much faster rate as Stallion will actively push for the adoption of keke by existing partners and the customer ecosystem. It will bring differentiated customer service, and ease of spare partS availability through its existing footprints in the auto industry,“ Rhotagi remarked in an interaction with the motoring press at the event.

The Managing Director also disclosed that plans were underway to engage more dealers across the country and provide first class after-sales support aimed at quick service within four hours, rider training schools and rider and mechanic empowerment programmes.

Stallion Bajaj boasts a network of sales and service outlets in 96 locations spread across Nigeria and will add 30 more exclusive and MFS (multi franchisee services) outlets by the end of 2020, taking the count to 126. The areas of focus would be Ilorin, Yola, Warri, Benin, Yenogoa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Lokoja and Bauchi.

It was also disclosed at the launch that the company has invested in state-of-the-art central auto parts and service centre in Lagos to support the distribution of genuine parts across the country.

Rohtagi gave more insight into the coming of the new generation Bajaj tricycles, saying “The authorised service centres across the nation only deal in genuine spare parts provided by the company making durability its brand promise. The Bajaj keke are manufactured in a state-of-the-art assembly plant in VON, Gbagada, Lagos employing the best-in-class, home-grown technicians.’’

Not a few guests, especially the dealers, potential buyers and lovers of the brand, were excited by the announcement that the new distributor would soon introduce Bajaj Qute, a passenger four-wheeler and Maxima Cargo, a three-wheeler for goods, before the end of this year.

Regarded as low cost, last mile transportation solution, Bajaj Qute is an eco-friendly and fuel efficient means of transportation.

The Managing Director also explained why the Stallion Group added the Bajaj franchise to its expansive conglomerate, stating “For over 50 years, Stallion has successfully navigated the Nigerian terrain and has become a time-tested conglomerate that has its presence across the Nigerian economy.

“Stallion Group’s vision is to adopt global best practices and localise it to develop scalable, impactful and sustainable business that is committed to improving the socio-economic conditions of the communities. Bajaj Auto, on the other hand, is a world leader in the intracity vehicle space.

“Loved in 70 countries, the brand stands for integrity, dedication, resourcefulness and determination to succeed and empower. With similar brand ethos we believe that this alliance will go a long way in empowering Nigerians to be self-reliant and improve the interests of the stakeholders, be it employees, dealers, distributors, vendors, mechanics, unions, logistic operators, or bankers.

“With years of experience in multiple countries including Nigeria, I foresee the opportunity that Bajaj has vast potentials for growth in the Nigerian market and to emerge as the undisputed market leader. The right approach and service to the dealers and consumers to bring out the USPs of the product and essence of the brand will add strength for it to become the market leader.”

Also speaking to the media at the flag-off/launch, the Marketing Head for Stallion Group, Arpita Luthra, stated that Stallion Auto Keke Ltd would invest significantly in improving stakeholders‘ interest, business and livelihood.

“Be it landmark consumer-connect campaigns like the Stallion Bajaj Keke rally doing the durability drive of 5000 kilometres and touching 28 cities, or rider-training facilities, or scholarship programmes for the keke riders and mechanics, the alliance of Stallion and Bajaj will enable progress, improve lives and dominate the market,“ Luthra remarked.