Nissan to launch vehicle production in Nigeria in 2014
Part of automaker's plan for major growth in Africa in medium term
LAGOS, Nigeria—Continuing with its push for future growth in Africa, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced it will begin producing its full range of light-duty vehicles in Nigeria starting early next year.
According to Nissan, it put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding with West African conglomerate the Stallion Group to build a host of cars, trucks and vans at Stallion’s VON Automobile Ltd. assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous city and the seventh-fastest growing city in the world.
“Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa,” Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said in an announcement about the deal.
“As the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the long-term growth of this market and across the broader continent.”
According to Stallion’s website, the plant in Nigeria also produces buses and other commercial vehicles.
Nissan the plant’s capacity will be expanded to 45,000 units to accommodate the new production.
“Our group is committed to invest in a fully integrated automobile industry that fosters the creation of several ancillary industries with associated socioeconomic benefits,” said Stallion chairman Sunil Vaswani.
Nissan said the product lineup destined for Lagos will be confirmed at a later date, but it anticipates the first product to be introduced will be the Nissan Patrol SUV in spring 2014.
Capacity at the plant will also be opened to Renault, Nissan’s partner in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, “to be utilized according to future business needs.”
The move into Nigeria is part of the automaker’s future growth plan on the continent.
Nissan is aiming to double its annual sales in Africa by 2016 to more than 220,000 units, up from 110,000 from 2012.
The auto giant plans to launch of number of regional-specific models in the near future, including an all-new pickup truck which will be built locally by Nissan at its plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, and the launch of the Datsun brand in South Africa before the end of 2014.