By Theodore Opara
COSCHARIS Motors has lived up to its promise to take Ford brand to greater heights in Nigeria when it finally opened a world-class Ford plant in Nigeria. The new plant located at Awoyaya Lagos is worth over US$15 million (N5 billion).
Speaking at the inauguration, of the plant the president of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka said that the facility was the second in Africa after South Africa. The plant which had already commenced production, had rolled out many units of the latest Ford Ranger pickup and it meets Ford’s international standard. Dr. Maduka who could not hide his excitement over the achievement noted that Ford has now made a very strong imprint in Nigerian auto industry.
He said,“It has been a long wait from when we first announced in November 2015 that we had commenced physical structuring of the new plant sighted on a piece of land of more than 14 hectares within Lekki Group head office in Lagos. Indeed it is a dream come true. Coscharis Group has been a great believer on the possibilities that lie ahead in this great nation and we have shown courage by the actions that we are taking in investing in the future of Nigeria.”
While explaining that the event was another initiative from Coscharis Motors to further create value as a leadership player in the nation’s automotive industry, Maduka commended Ford for the confidence in his company. “This is also to appreciate the confidence that the global icon brand, Ford, reposed in us as their exclusive official representative in Nigeria to roll out the very first Ford assembly plant in Nigeria. This milestone marks another first in the evolution of our company towards remaining timeless in its relevance.”
Maduka explained, “The National Automotive Industry Development Plan aims, among other objectives, to discourage the importation of completely built vehicles and encourage the local manufacturing of vehicles through either complete knocked down or semi knocked down facilities for a start. We are aware that a few automobile companies have also initiated their process towards achieving this objective. However, at Coscharis Motors Plc, our concern and commitment to our loyal customers and stakeholders is to, as usual, set standards that other players will be judged by in the industry.
“At the moment, our focus at the plant is to rollout the Ford Ranger, which is a multipurpose mini-truck that serves well for both work and leisure. As you are all aware, Ford has a global standard for all of its products including the Ranger. Therefore, Ford’s certification of our facility and output is a confirmation that every Ranger that rolls out of this plant is indeed “Built Ford Tough” from which we’ve rolled out over 600 units from this facility since we started operation”, adding that they will not rest on their oars as we are sure to wax stronger into the future with the introduction of other great Ford variants into the assembly line.
According to the Coscharis boss the fact that the firm ventured into it headlong underpins the level of confidence and hope it has for the future of the Nigerian automotive industry. This is to underscore the human capital opportunities that stand to be delivered in terms of employment and by extension the multiplier effect on the economic development of our dear country, Nigeria.
To this end he said that they had always dreamt of a Nigeria that will take its place in the global arena, a Nigeria that sits among the egalitarians in the committee of nations, taken its rightful place in the pages of history.
Our factory is the second ever Ford manufacturing outfit in the entire African continent, outside of South Africa; something we indeed, are very proud of. By this, Coscharis as an organization, reinforces its belief in the Nigerian project that this is the only country we have and absolutely nothing else.
So we have taken the challenge for our generation as a result of this huge investment we’ve taken as a strong believer in our dear country as an entity, we can only but demand for governmental support in terms of enabling environment vis-à-vis basic infrastructures that are required to keep the manufacturing process on and more importantly the purchase patronage of the finished products from the Plant.