Ford, one of the major auto makers in the United States of America has said it will assemble its Ranger brand of pickup in Nigeria, starting in the fourth quarter of 2015 as part of its expansion in the Middle East and Africa where the small truck is popular.
Nigeria will be the first African country outside of South Africa to produce Ford vehicles. The Ranger will be assembled in Ikeja, Lagos State, about 470 miles from the capital city of Abuja, creating about 180 jobs.
The cost of the investment is however not released, but it is believed it would cost some millions of dollars.
The Nigeria operation will be a “semi-knockdown” plant that will receive parts and components partially assembled from South Africa and complete the assembly. The company will send employees to Nigeria to train them in the Ford manufacturing system.
The kit assembly plant has capacity for 5,000 trucks a year, all for the Nigerian market.
Ford is partnering with Coscharis Motors Limited, a Ford dealer in Nigeria.
Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East & Africa said for Ford, “assembling Ford Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan,”
He said: “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.”
The Ranger is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa, and Ford sees Nigeria as a priority market in Sub-Saharan Africa. The truck is sold in 24 African countries and 148 markets worldwide.
Source: Business Day