By Franklin Alli
Japan based electronics giant, Panasonic has established an assembly plant in Lagos to complement its manufacturing plant in India. In a statement, Shinichi Wakita, Managing Director of Panasonic, Middle East and Africa, said the company is extending the manufacturing of its air-conditioners and TV sets to the shores of Nigeria.
He disclosed that the company is making this commitment in partnership with SIMS Nigeria Limited, an electronics and home appliances marketing/distribution company in Lagos. “As a contribution towards the society which is based on our basic business philosophy, we are establishing our local manufacturing unit for air-conditioners and TVs in Lagos. We believe this will make a small contribution towards job creation and the economy of Nigeria.
“Africa is one of the fastest growing economies with a rising consumer class; setting up this manufacturing base in Nigeria is our strategy to deal with the business challenges in this market. We will be working closely with the Nigerian population with an aim to provide products which are ‘locally-fit’ and in accordance with their demands,” he said.
Andrew Uwazuruike, an electronic dealer, commended the company for its decision to establish their assembly plant in the country.
“This is a welcome development. A lot of people have been making demands for Panasonic products but we don’t really have it in the market. But now that the company has partnered with SIMS for distribution, we are very happy that we can purchase their products and sell them without stress,” he said.
An Oyo-based dealer, Dayo Fagade, described the return of Panasonic as a huge relief that will enable him provide his customers quality products offered by the company. He revealed that he has always recommended the Japanese products to its customers due to their durability, innovation and quality.
“Panasonic is a big brand that needs no further introduction. We just want to appeal to Panasonic and SIM to make the products available all across the country, especially at the beginning of the year where people buy more electronic items,” he said.
Also, a consumer in Ikeja, Suliat Farouk said she has always loved Panasonic products because of their easy-to-know features. She urged the company to further consolidate their presence in the country and also make the product available in the North where, according to her, ‘there is a big market for electronic products’.