Nissan will become the first global carmaker to build cars in Nigeria since west Africa’s largest economy rolled out a policy to tempt investors into its nascent automotive industry.The Japanese carmaker, which has aggressively targeted growth in emerging markets as the centrepiece of its global strategy, plans to build 45,000 cars a year in the country, likely starting with an SUV early next year.
Nissan, which last month announced it would be the first international carmaker to build vehicles in Myanmar, targets a doubling of sales in Africa to 220,000 by 2016.
Nigeria, which imports millions of dollars worth of new and used cars into the country every year, has embarked on a drive to attract manufacturing and industrial investments into the country since former Goldman Sachs banker Olusegun Aganga was made minister of trade and investment this year.
African countries, long overlooked by global carmakers, are seen as one of the last remaining untapped sources of growth for the industry, after heavy investments in recent decades in India, China and southeast Asia.
“Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa,” said chief executive Carlos Ghosn, the global car industry’s most prominent believer in emerging market potential. “As the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the long-term growth of this market and across the broader continent.”
Volkswagen and Peugeot previously built cars in Nigeria but have since closed factories.
The global alliance between Nissan and French partner Renault signed a memorandum of understanding with Nigerian company Stallion Group to begin vehicle assembly in Lagos, the alliance said on Wednesday.Renault is mulling the possibility of joining Nissan in building cars in the country, a spokesman for the alliance said.
The entry is the first since Nigeria’s government unveiled a new automotive industrial policy designed to encourage carmaking. The Japanese company will build cars, light duty trucks, pickups and vans in the country, it said.
It also has a factory in Morocco and in South Africa, where it will begin production of its relaunched low-cost Datsun cars by the end of next year.
Paulina says: I'm soooo pleased for our neighbours to the East, because even though there's been much talk of President Goodluck's uber borrowing, and the possible pressures on him to sack one female member of his government over a bulletproof car or two, its good to see -the likes of Nissan (who are partners with Renault) encouraged to invest in Nigeria.
This venture with Nissan is all about mass job creation and development -and this is what Ghana should be aiming for.
This venture also means work for the Nigeria's people (and their families), and means that there's no temptation of certain members of Nigeria's government to line their pockets with sika.... creating a win, win situation -something that just can't be said for Ghana right now, where borrowing has become fashionable for the government and its shameful.
Anyway.....a big congrats to Nigeria....I believe that if they keep heading in this direction, like South Africa -the prosperity buzz will start trickling down to the masses...and change the destiny of ordinary Nigerians..