By THEODORE OPARA
PAN Nigeria Limited, the Kaduna based automobile manufacturing company has finally launched the Changan Alsvin sedan into the Nigeria market.
The Changan Alsvin sedan which was presented to the Motoring Press for a test drive on Thursday in Kaduna was assembled at the PAN Nigeria plant in Kaduna.
Addressing the press before the test drive, the Technical Adviser to the Managing Director, Mr. Bawo Omagbitse explained that the Changan Alsvin was a product of their research to give Nigerians the best products at affordable price.
“Our motive is to produce quality and affordable automobiles for Nigerians,” he said.
According to the Technical Adviser, who represented the Managing Director of PAN Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Dauda, the company has been challenged to produce a car that would meet the transportation need of Nigerians. He explained that Changan Alsvin was a quality product that has been accepted even in Europe, and a leading brand in China.
According to him, the company carefully selected the Changan Alsvin brand because of its quality, adding that PAN Nigeria’s many years of car production would be brought to bear in their production of the Alsvin sedans.
The Technical Adviser further noted that the company was working toward achieving 50 per cent local content in the car within the next few year.
“Our objective is to have 50 per cent local content and have a research and development unit of Chanan sited in Nigeria in the near future.
He explained that PAN Nigeria already has a local content network and noted that in a matter of three years, the local content target would have been achieved, adding that the dream of achieving 50 per cent local content was in line with the federal government’s vision for the automobile industry in Nigeria.
He further hinted that with the production of Changan Alsvin in Nigeria, the race for a truly Nigerian car had begun.
“This is the surest route to truly Nigerian car,” he said, adding that with the right support and patronage for the local auto assembly plants, employment and wealth would be created in the country.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Group Head, Industrial Division of PAN Nigeria, Mr. Austin Okolo noted that the company would be expanding their possibilities in terms of increasing local content input so as to achieve their set target.
He described Changan, as a company that believes in local content input, adding that the company has nine Research and Development Centres across the world, including Japan. Changan pedigree in the world auto industry is highly respected, having manufactured Ford, Suzuki, Mazda and Citreon in its plant in China before going into their own production of Alsvin brand.
“Changan is a first class Chinese indigenous auto manufacturer with many years of experience,” he said.
Also speaking during the presentation, Mr. Bolaji Olajide, Head, Strategy,, Marketing and Planning, PAN Nigeria said the Changan Alsvin was part of the fruit of the change from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited to PAN Nigeria Limited.
“We changed from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Ltd to PAN Nigeria to serve Nigerians better. This (Alsvin) is part of the fruit of the Change.
“The Changan Alsvin, we are producing is truly certified by the European Union and a leading brand in China. This means we have a vehicle that is at home in Europe with Chinese element, coupled with our over 37 years experience in automobile production in PAN plant.