ASD Motors has offered $US31.97m for a majority stake in a Peugeot car assembly plant in Nigeria, emerging as preferred bidder, a privatisation official told Reuters at an auction on Tuesday.

The report said ASD Motors was named preferred bidder for the 54.87% stake in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, located in the northern city of Kaduna, ahead of rival suitor Techno Pipe Services - the sale is subject to approval by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

Reuters said PAN was established in 1972 in a joint venture with Peugeot to assemble and manufacture cars and buses - it is designed to produce 264 vehicles a day.

After the sale, which divested stakes previously held by the government and Peugeot, the French manufacturer will be left with about 10% equity in the plant in Nigeria, where its cars enjoy the patronage of the federal government, the report noted.

The plant is one of several industrial initiatives started in the 1970s in Africa's most populous nation and its top oil producer in an effort to diversify its sources of foreign exchange earnings. It is among the few that are still functional, most of them having been grounded by mismanagement and corruption, Reuters added.