Stallion Group, the Nigeria-based multinational conglomerate operating in dozens of countries, has assembled the first Nissan vehicle at its Lagos plant - a black Nissan Patrol.
Stallion Group is Nissan's exclusive distributor in Nigeria.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the Stallion Group, Sunil Vaswani said they were pleased to complete the work within the targeted time frame.
It would be recalled that in October 2013, Federal Goverment of Nigeria has announced its new auto policy which encourages the development of the automobile industry in the country. Subsequently, Renault-Nissan Alliance and Stallion Group signed a memorandum of understanding in Lagos, committing to complete the assembly of the first "built in Nigeria for Nigerians" vehicle by April 2014.
Mr. Vaswani added that Stallion Group will continue working with Nissan to espand their capacities and product range. He announced several other upcoming models, including the Almera (Sunny) and NP300 pickup models. The production will start in early May, followed by mass production in August, and will create significant employment opportunities for Nigerians.
On his behalf, Nissan's senior Vice President and Chairman for the African, Middle East and Indian region Takashi Hata maintained that African countries are Nissan's "strategic growth drivers," as demand for vehicles is growing rapidly in local markets. By beginning production in Nigeria, Mr. Hata noted, Nissan have secured the "first-mover" advantage.
Also speaking, Nissan South Africa Managing Director and head of Nissan's Subsahara region, Mike Whitfield, said he sees potential in Nigerian market and expressed hope that Nissan will play major part in the economic growth of Nigeria and Africa on the whole.
Nissan is targeting significant growth in Africa as the company builds momentum towards achieving its Power 88 goals, a commitment to reach 8% profitability by the end of fiscal year 2016.