Ford To Start Assembling Its Trucks In Nigeria
Immediately after the federal government unveiled an auto policy to regulate auto importation into the country, we’ve had some automobile companies establishing their companies in Nigeria, thereby creating employment.
Another automobile manufacturer, Ford has disclosed its plans to open a car assembly plant in Lagos churning out its Ranger pick-up truck in October as part of Nigeria’s continued drive towards industrialisation.
Ford will open an assembly plant in Ikeja in Lagos State thereby creating about 180 jobs under its expansion into the Middle East and Africa where the small truck is popular. Nigeria will become the first African country outside of South Africa to produce Ford vehicles.
According to Ford, the Nigerian operation will be a semi-knockdown plant that will receive parts and components partially assembled from South Africa and complete the assembly. Ford will send employees to Nigeria to train them in the Ford manufacturing system.
Ford’s assembly plant has capacity for 5,000 trucks a year, all for the Nigerian market. Under the scheme, Ford is partnering with Coscharis Motors, a local dealer to get the project going.
Cosmas Maduka, the president of Coscharis Motors, said: “This partnership will boost Nigeria’s much needed march towards industrialisation and create an important step in the development of the automotive industry.”
Jim Benintende, the president of Ford Middle East and Africa, added: “For Ford, assembling Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan. With Coscharis, we have the right partner and with the Ford Ranger, we have the right product to deliver a world-class truck that Nigerian customers want and value.”
Ford’s Ranger is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa and the company sees Nigeria as a priority market in Sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, Nissan presented some units of its locally assembled Patrol, a sport utility vehicle to President Goodluck Jonathan.