Ford begins assembling of vehicles in Nigeria
THE Federal Government automotive policy has recorded another success as Coscharis Motor, an authorised dealer of Ford vehicles in Nigeria, unveiled a brand new Ranger, which was assembled at the organisationís assembling plant in Ikeja, Lagos.
Showcasing the all-new-Ranger in Lagos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company of Sub-Saharan Africa, Jeff Nemeth said: ìThe facility will accommodate one shift and will produce an initial 10 units per day (3,650 yearly) for the Nigerian market, creating approximately 180 direct and indirect jobs.
He stated that Ford is presently focusing on Nigeria with the hope of exploring the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) market.
Nemeth maintained that ìthe main driver behind Ford in Africa is affordability.
According to him, Ford has taken steps to support its dealers in Africa, including after sales support and ensuring spare parts availability.
In addition, we are looking at training and skills transfer opportunities to enhance the continentís skills base. In Nigeria, this includes a training programme coordinated by Coscharis Motors and the Lagos State Government including hands-on modules for techniciansî, Nemeth said.
He added: ìAfrica is one of the youngest markets in the world and presents a huge opportunity in terms of consumption. The buying power of the African consumer is on the rise as the continentís middle-class increases exponentially. Despite infrastructure challenges, Africa has demonstrated impressive returns on foreign direct investment.
President of Coscharis Motors, Cosmas Maduka, who categorically said his organisation has brought an end to the importation of Ford Ranger into Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to maintain its stand on the auto policy.
We have worked hard and moved quickly to turn this dream into a reality. Today marks an important milestone when the cogs in the wheel really start to turn, not only for Ford in Nigeria but in general for the Nigerian industry, which is receiving a much-needed boost towards industrialisation and the development of the automotive industry.
We are committed to setting the bar high, and establishing world-class, best practices in Nigeria that every other industrialist will have to be judged by. This is a major milestone for us and marks another first in the evolution of our company,î Maduka said.
Reinstating commitment and intention to boost its investment in Nigeria, Group Managing Director, Coscharis Motors, Josiah Samuel disclosed that the organisation was working on another plant with the intention of rolling out about 52,000 vehicles yearly.
Samuel said: ìWe have invested in two plants, one on the mainland, precisely at Ikeja and the second one here in Awoyaya, Ibeju-lekki. We have concluded an agreement with Ford as the OEM organisation for the project; they will provide the necessary technical back-up.The plant, when completed, has the capacity to produce various models of Buses, Passenger cars, SUVs and Pickups: 25units/day and 26,000units/year working one shift (25unit x 5days x 52weeks), while the plant will turn out 52,000 units if working two shifts.î
The Ford Ranger trucks will be assembled at a semi-knockdown level, using body parts and components imported from Fordís Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.