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NIGERIA: Nissan signs MoU with local group to start assembly

By Dave Leggett | 9 October 2013

Nissan and West African conglomerate Stallion Group have announced their intention to jointly launch vehicle assembly in Nigeria.

Nissan says the move, pending ratification from Nigeria's government, would see Nissan become the first major international manufacturer to launch vehicle assembly in the country following the creations of a new government strategy for the auto industry.

The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will result in Stallion - already Nissan's exclusive distributor in Nigeria - increasing capacity at its existing plant, VON Automobile Ltd in Lagos.

Stallion currently produces commercial vehicles at the facility. The plant's annual capacity will be expanded to 45,000 units to assemble a range of cars, light duty trucks, pickups and vans. Full details of the product lineup will be confirmed at a later date, however it is anticipated the first product to be introduced will be the Nissan Patrol SUV in spring 2014.

Capacity at the plant will also be opened to Nissan's Alliance partner Renault, to be utilised according to future business needs.

Nissan President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said: "We welcome the proactive measures being taken by the Government of Nigeria to encourage inward investment and job creation driven by local auto manufacturing. Together with our local partner, Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa. As the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the long-term growth of this market and across the broader continent."

just-auto says:

Several major OEMs are looking at the African continent for future demand growth. While average incomes remain very low, analysts note that they are growing - led by robust commodities activity in some countries - and that pockets of affluence combined with the emergence of a consumer middle-class in many African cities offer a substantial future opportunity. It's an opportunity coming off a low base.