BUSINESS Nissan begins vehicle assembly in Lagos
Nissan has become the first automobile firm to assemble cars in Nigeria under the new automotive policy.
In a statement issued by its spokesperson Mr Dudu Mwelase, Nissan Group of Africa said that the inaugural vehicle, a Nissan Patrol, rolled off the production line at the Lagos assembly plant, marking a key milestone in the company’s continued wave of expansion into high-growth markets.
It said Nissan was targeting significant growth in Africa as the company builds momentum towards achieving its Power 88 goals, a commitment to reach 8% profitability by the end of fiscal year 2016.
The first “built in Nigeria for Nigerians” Nissan Patrol followed the signing, last year, of a Memorandum of Understanding for vehicle assembly in Lagos between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and West African conglomerate Stallion Group.
Since then, preparing for production in Nigeria to global production standards has been achieved at a rapid pace, setting a new benchmark in responsiveness and organisational agility.
Takashi Hata, Nissan Senior Vice President and Chairman for the Africa, Middle East and India region said: “For Nissan, Africa is our strategic growth driver.
“Demand for cars is growing quickly in African markets as demonstrated by the first model being produced a mere seven months after the announcement of the new Automotive Policy.
“By acting quickly to begin production in Nigeria we’re securing for ourselves first-mover advantage.”
Nissan South Africa Managing Director Mike Whitfield, who also heads Nissan’s Sub Sahara Africa region, was delighted with the successful launch of the first Patrol.
He said: “Nissan was a pioneer in the foundation of the car industry in South Africa.
“Now we’re once again at the forefront of manufacturing in Africa, this time in Nigeria where we see huge potential. We want to play our part in the economic growth of Nigeria and Africa.”