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Nissan to roll out locally SUV in Nigeria

         By BusinessNews Staff on January 25, 2014

The Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motors, Mr Carlos Ghosn, has said that the company will roll-out the first made in Nigeria 4 X 4 Utility SUV in April.

Ghosn said this at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Davos, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF).

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, from Davos said Ghosn informed Jonathan of the company’s plan at the meeting.

The Nissan CEO according to Abati, said the company will use the old Volkswagen Assembly plant owned by its partners as the production line for the SUV production.

He said Ghosn commended the new Automotive Policy of the Federal Government and assured that the company would soon establish its own vehicle production plants with annual capacity of three million cars.

“Mr Ghosn applauded the Federal Government’s new automotive policy, saying that it would encourage the inflow of investments and technical expertise to boost domestic vehicle production.

“Mr Ghosn said that it was possible to produce two to three million cars in Nigeria annually with the consequent creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

“He told the president that Nissan intends to increase its investment in Nigeria and establish its own vehicle production plants in the country,’’ Abati said.

Abati said the automobile industry specifically expressed interest in producing popular cars, totally adapted to the needs of Nigerians.

He said the company also planned to bring its global suppliers to make vehicle components in the country.

Abati said that the president assured the Nissan CEO that his administration was fully committed to rapidly developing Nigeria’s automobile industry.

The president, according to Abati, said that the Federal Government would diligently implement the country’s new national automotive policy.

“President Jonathan said that a key objective of the new policy was to make new cars affordable to more Nigerians and reduce the preponderance of second hand cars on our roads,” he said.

Abati said Jonathan noted that all investors in local automobile production in the country would have a huge ready market for their products.

The president said that the automobile industry in Nigeria had a huge potential for growth because the market was not just Nigeria, but the entire West African region. (NAN)


Nissan to launch vehicle production in Nigeria in 2014

Reuters

LAGOS, Nigeria—Continuing with its push for future growth in Africa, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced it will begin producing its full range of light-duty vehicles in Nigeria starting early next year.

According to Nissan, it put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding with West African conglomerate the Stallion Group to build a host of cars, trucks and vans at Stallion’s VON Automobile Ltd. assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous city and the seventh-fastest growing city in the world.

“Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa,” Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said in an announcement about the deal.

“As the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the long-term growth of this market and across the broader continent.”

According to Stallion’s website, the plant in Nigeria also produces buses and other commercial vehicles.

Nissan the plant’s capacity will be expanded to 45,000 units to accommodate the new production.

“Our group is committed to invest in a fully integrated automobile industry that fosters the creation of several ancillary industries with associated socioeconomic benefits,” said Stallion chairman Sunil Vaswani.

Nissan said the product lineup destined for Lagos will be confirmed at a later date, but it anticipates the first product to be introduced will be the Nissan Patrol SUV in spring 2014.

Capacity at the plant will also be opened to Renault, Nissan’s partner in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, “to be utilized according to future business needs.”

The move into Nigeria is part of the automaker’s future growth plan on the continent.

Nissan is aiming to double its annual sales in Africa by 2016 to more than 220,000 units, up from 110,000 from 2012.

The auto giant plans to launch of number of regional-specific models in the near future, including an all-new pickup truck which will be built locally by Nissan at its plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, and the launch of the Datsun brand in South Africa before the end of 2014.

 

 

Japan battles China for influence in Africa

JOHANNESBURG — The Globe and Mail

 

Japan’s rivalry with China is going global. After years of jousting over obscure islands in the East China Sea and competing for Asian influence, the two countries are now battling for power in a new arena: Africa.

It’s a region that Tokyo has long ceded to the Chinese, allowing Beijing to pile up massive economic and political capital across Africa. But on Friday, in a major shift in strategy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Ivory Coast to begin his first tour of sub-Saharan Africa – and the first by any Japanese prime minister in eight years.

Mr. Abe is expected to announce more than $14-billion (U.S.) in trade and foreign aid agreements during his five-day African tour. It’s a dramatic escalation in Japan’s stake in the African battleground, although certainly not enough to threaten China’s commanding edge in trade and investment in Africa, nor its political clout here.

China’s state media were quick to portray Mr. Abe’s visit as an attempt to challenge Beijing in the African arena. Quoting several Japanese sources, state-owned China Daily said the Japanese leader is seeking to “contain” China’s influence in Africa.

Another Chinese newspaper, Global Times, quoted Japan analyst Geng Xin as saying that Tokyo was “cozying up” to Africa to try to dispel Japan’s image as an “economic giant and political dwarf.” He said Japan is wooing the votes of African countries for its bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, issued a veiled warning to Japan. “If there is any country out there that attempts to make use of Africa for rivalry, the country is making a wrong decision, which is doomed to fail,” she told a press conference this week.

Japan criticizes Beijing for its tendency to build lavish headquarters and office towers as donations for African politicians – including, most famously, the new $200-million headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, where Mr. Abe is scheduled to give a policy speech next week.

“Countries like Japan … cannot provide African leaders with beautiful houses or beautiful ministerial buildings,” Mr. Abe’s spokesman, Tomohiko Taniguchi, told the BBC.

Japan, he said, prefers to “aid the human capital of Africa.”

But while the two countries take verbal shots at each other, the reality is that China has adopted a far more aggressive strategy in Africa, and has been enormously successful so far. China’s investment in Africa was reported to be about seven times that of Japan in 2011, and its exports to Africa were about five times greater.

China has become the top trading partner, or second-biggest trading partner, of about half of Africa’s countries. It is a major investor in Africa’s resources sector, and the biggest buyer of oil and minerals from many African countries. Its construction companies are building roads, highways, railway lines, sports stadiums, transit systems and hospitals across Africa.

Japan will find it difficult to catch up to China’s political influence here. China’s leaders are frequent visitors to the continent. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is currently in the middle of an African tour, and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Africa last year on his first overseas trip as President. Beijing has cultivated close relationships with Africa’s ruling parties, routinely inviting their officials on junkets to China.

Japan has lagged far behind in this race. Most of its engagement with Africa is as an aid donor. Last year it promised up to $32-billion in public and private assistance to Africa over the next five years, but this only confirmed its reputation as a donor, rather than a business partner.

Only a handful of Japanese investors are active in Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Mozambique – the three countries that Mr. Abe is visiting in his current tour. According to a fact sheet by the Japanese government, there are only two Japanese companies in Ivory Coast and only one in Ethiopia.

Mr. Abe, who calls himself Japan’s “top salesman,” seems determined to propel Japan into a much more active role on the world stage. Last year, in the first year of his latest term as Prime Minister, he visited 25 countries around the world – including all 10 countries in Southeast Asia and most of the oil-producing countries in the Persian Gulf. He is expected to visit another six countries this month alone.

Africa is “a frontier for Japan’s diplomacy,” he told reporters as he departed on his latest overseas tour. He is bringing a delegation of Japanese business leaders with him on the tour, signalling his goal of shifting from aid to trade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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