By Theodore Opara
Nissan has become the first major manufacturer to build a car in Nigeria in response to the Federal Government’s new Automotive Policy.
According to a statement from Stallion Motors, Nissan representatives in Nigeria, the inaugural vehicle, a black 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 the high-growth markets.
In addition to the Patrol, Nissan also plans to produce the Almera and NP300, starting in early May and followed by mass production in August. With these three models, Nissan aims to be a significant player in the Nigerian automotive sector.
Nissan is 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.
Elsewhere in the world as part of the high-growth markets strategy, plants have been opened in Mexico and Brazil with projects underway in Indonesia, Thailand and China. Last year Nissan announced it will be the first manufacturer to build cars in Myanmar, after the opening up of the economy in the south-east Asian country.
The first “built in Nigeria for Nigerians” Nissan Patrol follows 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.