By Theodore Opara
THE assembly of Shacman vehicles by Transit Support Services, TSS in partnership with ANAMMCO, which prompted the revival of the popular plant in Emene, Enugu, has once again, received a huge boost from the Dangote Group.
The multinational industrial conglomerate recently placed a fresh order for Shacman heavy duty vehicles which are being assembled at the plant.
Clearly the biggest and most consistent buyer of Shacman trucks, particularly the tractor units, Dangote Group has since the plant re-opened five years ago after a period of skeletal operations, taken delivery of no fewer than 1,500 units of various models of the brand.
Shacman is widely regarded in China as the best in heavy duty vehicles, and the products are being assembled by the Enugu plant for TSS the brand’s representative in Nigeria, on contract basis.
In the latest purchase, the group placed an order for about 650 trucks; the production of which has raised the tempo of activities in ANAMMCO as plant workers and local input suppliers strive to meet deadlines.
Two years ago, the group had placed an order for about 350 units of Shacman heavy duty trucks assembled at the plant. The vehicles, all of which were of the 8×4 tipper truck model (said to be among the best from the brand’s product line-up and a class-beater in its segment), were delivered to the Dangote Oil Refinery in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, LFTZ.
TSS and ANAMMCO managements believe that the current patronage will guarantee that the factory will continue to bustle with production which has been sustained since the assembly of Shacman commenced early in 2015 with an official roll-out ceremony at the plant.
At the event, and since then, auto industry analysts have been hailing the ANAMMCO/TSS partnership and the unprecedented private sector encouragement from Dangote as some of the gains of the Federal Government’s automotive policy that took effect in 2014.
Among other goals, the policy was designed to revive ailing assembly plants, attract fresh on-shore/off-shore investments, encourage patronage from within and discourage importation of fully built vehicles, as well as stimulate development downstream.
Describing the Dangote support as very encouraging and exemplary, the Managing Director of TSS a division of ABC Transport plc, Mr. Frank Nneji, said that the impact of the patronage is being felt not only in ANAMMCO, but also in the related downstream where economic activities are being stimulated gradually.
Beyond the recall of the plant hands laid off while the near dormancy at the factory lasted, the re-commencement of production at ANAMMCO has also impacted on related ventures in the sector. This has prompted industry watchers to consider the upsurge in production activities a boost to the policy (also called the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan, NAIDP).
A source at ANAMMCO observed that the return of sustained production is having a multiplier effect on the country’s economy in general. He remarked that with purchases like Dangote’s more income is generated and circulated with a lot of impact in the ancillary sectors of the industry.
To meet the Dangote orders and purchases from other truck buyers who have followed the group’s lead, many heavy duty Shacman vehicles are assembled every week at the Emene plant.
A subsidiary of ABC Transport, the Transit Support Services, assembles a wide range of commercial vehicles like heavy and light duty trucks, fire engines and buses.