By Theodore Opara
Renowned vehicle manufacturer, Nissan, has identified Nigeria as one of its most important markets in Africa which must be conquered with its range of Light Commercial Vehicles.
Mr. Jim Dando, General Manager Nissan South Africa, who is also in charge of the company’s overseas markets, told visiting Nigerian journalists in South Africa recently that the company expects to sell good volume in Nigeria given the country’s huge population.
“Nigeria is our biggest and most important market in the sub-sahara Africa and we have high expectation in the country.
According to him, Nissan has seen growth in Nigeria over the last three years but is looking forward to increasing its volume in future.
The General Manager explained that Nissan is targeting 30 per cent of the light commercial vehicle market in Nigeria with its range of Light Commercial Vehicles which have been proven to be rugged and reliable over the years.
Nissan hopes to achieve its target with the introduction of petrol version of the NP 300 hard body pickup which he described as a workhorse.
“We manufacture quite a wide range of light commercial vehicles starting from the IX model and have over the years, garnered reputation as one of the strongest brands in the market he said.
On the unique selling point of their products, Mr. Dando explained that their quality stands them out, as Nissan vehicles offer value for money. Apart form this, he said that Nissan Light Commercial Vehicles offer high comfort and is competitively priced.
Nissan, he said is a leading brand all over the world and in most African countries including Ghana, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Apart from South Africa, Nigeria is Nissan’s third biggest market in Africa, next to Algeria and Morocco but Dando expects Nigeria to overtake the other countries in no time, pledging to offer his supports.
He however identified shipping cost as part of the factors responsible for the high vehicle landing cost in Africa, adding that it is cheaper to ship vehicles from Japan to Europe than to ship vehicles from South Africa to other African countries which are even closer.
Other plans to conquer the Nigerian market according to Dando include good spread of dealers network which he said would see the Nissan showrooms in every nook and cranny of the country. Commending Alliance Authors, the Nigerian representative for pushing the brand in the last three years, the General Manager noted that Nissan South Africa has commenced production for Nigeria’s demand which is the 4 x 4 double cabin petrol version Nissan pickup with the luxury of Sport Utility vehicle.