By Theodore Opara
Multinational Conglomerate Stallion Group has launched the first Nigeria made Volkswagen passenger & commercial vehicles assembled at its brand new plant, following the historic return of the global brand 20 years after the previous plant was moribund.
The Stallion Group had entered into collaboration with the Volkswagen Group to assemble its vehicles in Nigeria, pursuant of the National Automotive Industrial Plan (NAIDP) announced by the Federal Government in October 2013.
Stallion is commencing assembly of Volkswagen’s renowned products including Passat, Jetta, CC and Amarok pickup models.
Renowned Stallion Group is the preferred partner for an impressive portfolio of iconic global automobile brands and the Nigeria exclusive distributor for the Volkswagen Group brands including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Porsche.
The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. The Group operates 119 production plants in 20 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153 countries.
Commenting on the launch, Stallion’s Chairman Sunil Vaswani who was represented at the occasion by the Vice Chairman Haresh Vaswani said: “This is a great moment for Stallion in partnering with a world leading global brand like Volkswagen. We are immensely pleased to bring back the proud legacy of Nigeria automotive industry – the Volkswagen brand that once was indigenously produced at the same premises.”
On Stallion’s plans for the automotive industry, Vaswani said: “Stallion in committed to investing and expanding its operations in the automotive value chain across multiple global brands and paving the way for Nigeria to establish itself as a regional leader in the automobile eco system.”
Stallion is already assembling Nissan, Hyundai, Ashok-Leyland and IVECO vehicles in Nigeria and has developed a large team of highly skilled human resources following extensive training by specialists from the respective principals. The journalist were later taken round the plants to see the progress made by Stallion in assembly cars at their plant in Lagos.
In his speech, Ratz Wolfgang, leader of the Volkswagen Group delegation from Germany said “Today marks the revival of the assembly of Volkswagen vehicles in Nigeria. Volkswagen has returned to Nigeria to continue a long history that began in the 1970s,” he recalled.
Wolfgang who is excited and optimistic about the future of Volkswagen in Nigeria remarked that “We are certain that further growth is possible, which is why Volkswagen is constantly searching for new opportunities to increase global market and sales potential and we appreciate the fact that we are able to strengthen our business relationship with our professional partner Stallion…”