by Benson Agoha | Technology
Ford has chosen Nigeria as the preferred choice for the assembly of its Pickup Truck, bringing the West African nation back to the auto manufacturing limelight.
|The Ford Ranger 2015 Model.|
(Credit: via Wiki)
Nigeria, which was home to Germany's iconic VolksWagen brand, gradually took a back seat as its economic woes and mismanagement drove out companies.
Today, Industry Week reports that assembling the Ford Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in Ford's Middle East and Africa growth plan.
The announcement makes Nigeria the first African country outside of South Africa to manufacture Ford products, and represents an important new phase of its economic recovery drive.
According to Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East & Africa: “Assembling Ford Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan.”
On his part, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, president of Coscharis Motors said: “This partnership will boost Nigeria’s much needed march towards industrialization and create an important step in the development of the automotive industry.”
But export of the 5000 Ford Rangers to be produced there is not yet the priority as they are destined for sale in Nigeria only. They will be produced with imported parts, in semi-knocked-down components, from South Africa.
|Deal Done: Ford South Africa CEO Jeff Nemeth (left)|
and Coscharis Motors Ltd. President Dr. Cosmas Maduka (right) announced
a new manufacturing facility in Nigeria to assemble the Ford Ranger.
(Credit: via IW)
Jeff Nemeth CEO of Ford Motor Co. of Sub-Saharan Africa region said: “Nigeria is a priority market for us in Sub-Saharan Africa and today’s announcement will allow us to better serve our customers both from a retail point of view, and in terms of vehicle and parts availability,” adding “We are committed to supporting Nigeria’s developing automotive industry and economy together with Coscharis, and are looking forward to being active in the community.”
He said: "New assembly operations, even on a smaller scale like this one, have very positive ripple effects in the local economy and work force.”
The Ford Ranger assembly will begin in Ikeja, Lagos which Nigeria's former Capital and commercial hub. When it starts, the project is expected to generate 180 direct and indirect jobs.
Ford Motor Co. of Southern Africa produces the Ranger for 148 markets including Europe, Middle East and Africa and the vehicle is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa in the first half of this year. It is sold in 24 African countries, all supplied from South Africa.
* Industry Week.