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OLX, the Naspers-owned classifieds website appears to be doing something interesting with Mandilas. For those not old enough to know it, Mandilas is one of Nigeria’s oldest car dealers, if not the oldest — they introduced Volkswagen vehicles to Nigeria in 1953, that’s how old they are.

These days, Mandilas sells and services mostly Toyota vehicles and air conditioners.

TechCabal has become aware that OLX is about make an announcement that has something to do with Mandilas From where we’re standing, we believe it could be the beginning of a significant partnership. The most obvious conclusion to be drawn here is that there is some sort of exclusive deal which will see Mandilas’ cars getting listed on OLX.

It makes sense. If OLX were to really get behind Mandilas’ vehicle inventory, they could see a lot more cars being sold than they currently do via walk-ins. OLX on the other hand also stands to gain a great deal. Asides getting a decent content bump from absorbing Mandilas’ stock, the online platform would also benefit from the association with Mandilas’ brand, one that is more than fifty years old, and is renowned for its reliable after sales services. After the nanny kidnap kerfuffle, OLX has gone to great lengths to repair its reputation with user education, and apparently now, strategic partnerships with trusted brands.

If we are right, there is one more thing to consider. This development should give Cheki, the current leader in Nigeria’s online auto sales space something to think about. Not that they are exactly sitting on their hands though. Last week, TechCabal reported Cheki’s new alliance with Manheim Inc, one that will enable Cheki users bid on used vehicles abroad.

TechCabal has reached out to OLX and Mandilas for comment.

Tentatively, and in view of further details emerging from the press conference, TechCabal’s notions about the agreement pre the announcement are spot on, except for a couple of add ons:

The agreement will also see Mandilas give diagnosis of cars on the OLX platform and certify its sales worthiness, and as well, give the right market value of the cars to curb the risk of under/over valuation.  This move creates a win-win situation, not only for OLX, and Mandilas as stated above, but also for users on the platform who now have further guarantee on cars bought through OLX.

Updated on August 20th.

Bankole Oluwafemi contributed to this article.

Photo Credit: Gemaskerde Muchacho via Compfight cc

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